Sixty-five students at Morven Elementary School received free refurbished desktop computers on Jan. 29.
The Caraway Foundation and HOLLA! partnered with Kramden Institute, Inc., for the computer award day, which benefited students in grades 3-6. In all, 48 computers were given to 65 children (with one per household, siblings shared their computer). The donated computers were all refurbished by Kramden community volunteers and given to qualifying students who don’t already own a computer and who were nominated by an educator who verified that the student is hardworking and academically motivated.
“Kramden is thrilled to work hand-in-hand with The Caraway Foundation and HOLLA! to help deserving students at Morven Elementary School,” Kramden Institute’s executive director Michael Abensour said in a press release. “This will mark the first time Kramden has ever done an award day in Anson County, and I hope it will be the first of many. A computer at home is the first step in bridging the digital divide and it will allow these students to fully realize their academic potential.”
The computers were equipped with Windows 7, Malwarebytes, Microsoft Security Essentials, Google Chrome, and LibreOffice 3, an office suite comparable to and compatible with Microsoft Office. Students and their parents were shown how to connect the computer tower, monitor, keyboard and mouse, as well as how to update their anti-virus protection and run scans. They were also provided a take-home sheet with computer care information and the contact information for Kramden Institute for free tech service.
Angela Caraway, founder of The Caraway Foundation, said that a plan for discounted Internet for those on free or reduced fee lunch programs is also in the works with Time Warner Cable, though she was unable to provide a timeframe.
One child gasped as she entered the library, where the giveaway was being held. “Wow! Look at all of these computers!”
Parent Erica Wright has four children, three of whom attend Morven Elementary. “I was kind of surprised,” she said. “It gives them a resource to learn.” Her children were very excited to receive the computer, Wright said.
Undra Little Sr. was also pleased with what he called a blessing. With two of his three children at home, the computer will be a resource for his children. “My kid said he won’t have to go to his grandma’s house [to use her computer],” Little said. “Undra Little Jr. likes to go on different sites for extra credit. It’s nice that the teachers will let them do that.”
In addition to Kramden staff, Caraway, Leon Gatewood, founder of the HOLLA!, Sarah Burns, Principal Joslyn Allen and school staff were present at the giveaway. Anson New Tech students were also on hand to learn how to train other students in the future, and the Leadership Anson 2013 class also volunteered.
Kramden Institute is a non-profit, charitable institution dedicated to providing less-advantaged students with access to computers to enhance achievement and improve 21st-century learning outcomes. The HOLLA! mission is to counter the adverse effects that poverty and dysfunctional family life have on children and the community. The Caraway Foundation is a charitable program of the United Charitable Programs, Inc. geared towards assisting and promoting higher education and continuing education to all persons in Anson County, according to a press release.
Gatewood said that he plans to work to provide the program in other schools in Anson County, with Ansonville probably next in line.