Laptops for KidZ places first of "IFAW 8" at Falmouth High School

The donated computer will help a high school student study web design


   Ms. Peg Verdi (here when the weather was a tad warmer), web design teacher at Falmouth High School, shows off the Dell notebook that was provided for one of her students by Laptops for KidZ through a donation by the International Fund of Animal Welfare. MAF photo.

The Laptops for KidZ project of the Masonic Angel Foundation has placed the first of the eight computers donated by Yarmouth-based International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).  This article is number one in an exclusive CapeCodToday.com series that follows each of  the IFAW 8 computers.  Laptops for KidZ was introduced to IFAW through a partnership with Cape and Islands United Way.

At just about the same time that the IFAW computers were donated, Masonic Angel Foundation volunteers received an email from Ms. Peg Verdi, web design teacher at Falmouth High School.  Describing one of her "hardest working and most successful students", Ms. Verdi wrote:

"This young man has struggled in school with special needs issues for years but this year has worked his way out of the special needs program.  He has also made huge strides in my web design class - working diligently on a daily basis.  He comes with a smile and high hopes every class… our school is looking at providing the software for our students to study at home but this young, very hard working, needy student will not be able to use it." 

Ms. Verdi requested "…a laptop for this young man whose talents are haltered and self esteem is built upon his hard work."

Laptops for KidZ project director Mario Meré contacted Ms. Verdi to go over the hardware requirements for this student’s web design studies.  It turned out that one of the IFAW laptops was a perfect fit – a Dell Latitude notebook with a strong processor, 1 GB RAM and a 20 GB hard drive.  Mario arranged to meet Ms. Verdi in Centerville the very next day, half way between their two homes, and delivered the laptop.

Two days later the Masons received the following email from Ms. Verdi:

"Thank you so much for the excellent laptop for our student at Falmouth High School.  I spoke with his guidance counselor yesterday and made arrangements with the student’s family to have it picked up today at school.

People like you and your organization are indeed making a positive difference in the lives of others.  As a teacher, it is rewarding to be able to share the tools that encourage students in goals that reap benefits."

Masonic Angel Foundation board president and co-founder Robert Fellows observed, “This is exactly the kind of placement that has become common in the Laptops for KidZ project. Here we have a child with a very specific educational need that only can be fulfilled with home access to a computer.  Web design - just as with any creative craft - requires practice outside the classroom.  Clearly this student would miss that opportunity to succeed without a computer at home to practice and hone his skills.”

Established in March, Laptops for KidZ (LFK) places laptop computers with local schools to be sent home with children who would not otherwise have computer access outside school hours.  LFK tries to focus on situations where there is a demonstrated educational need for which the school has a plan that requires the use of a computer to address that need.

As with all activities of the Masonic Angel Foundation, the program's volunteers never know the identity of a recipient child. All transactions are conducted at arm's length with the school professionals working as a go-between to preserve privacy. LFK does not accept direct requests from potential recipients. Requests for laptops must come through a school or other partner agency.  LFK computers are configured in English and are only available to legal residents of the United States.  The volunteers at Laptops for KidZ have refurbished over 80 computers since late April of this year.

LFK accepts donations of functional Windows-based notebook computers. "Functional" means that the laptop will power up and is accompanied by its proper AC adapter.  LFK generally does not accept donations of desktops or monitors and does not accept any Apple product. Donations to the 501(c)(3) Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. are tax deductible.

For more information about the Laptops for KidZ program visit www.laptopsforkidZ.org.

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