Masons have donated 250 laptops to Cape Cod schools - so far

Laptops for KidZ reaches milestone in less than two years

  
   LFK comes full circle: Orleans Elementary School principal Diane Carreiro and school nurse Mary Ellen Reed show off Laptops for KidZ computer #250, presented to them today by the Masonic Angel Foundation.  The very first Laptops for KidZ computer was placed at the same school two years ago in May 2010.

Testimonials from Educators:

The students from Dennis-Yarmouth have been thrilled to get their laptops.  It has made it easier to complete homework assignments as they are able to do research, type, and print their work. They also are allowed to network with their friends and fit in socially with their peers.  Both students and their parents were very appreciative and thankful to receive this generous gift.

Carol A. Woodbury,
Superintendent of SchoolsDennis-Yarmouth Regional School District

The Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School would like to publicly thank  the Masonic Angel Fund  for all it has done this year.  To date, the  MAF has delivered seventeen laptop and desktop computers to the our school.   The majority of the laptop computers have been gifts to students in need;  the desktop computers have been placed in a remedial math lab where all students can access the Khan Academy as well as receive individualized remediation with staff.   One computer has been set aside to do specialized field work for the eighth grade science classes.
      The value of these computers cannot be overstated.   Students who find themselves without computer access at home are scrambling to accomplish many of their daily tasks.  Homework is posted on-line;  school calendars,  events, “Note to Home” are all posted on-line as well.  In addition, students typically contact their teachers by email.  The escalating work load of middle school  students requires writing, both in the content area and in their language arts classes, and the writing process requires editing for form and content.  This task is nearly painless on the computer,  but requires enormous amounts of time in the physical re-writing.    The computer is an important tool in the area of research,  particularly in "real time".  Just now our eighth grade is immersed in the  "Town Meeting" project, and the computer is a most effective and integral part of their learning curve,  allowing them to access  Town Warrants,  contact Selectmen and town officials,  and read current news articles about the various "hot topics".
      I have just heard of another student in need, whose mother drives her to the library every day after school so that she can use the computers there to get her work done.  In addition to the gift of a computer,  the Masonic Angel Fund has also given us information on a company who will deliver basic internet services for $10 a month.    Through the efforts of the MAF, I am hoping to provide this student with a computer, and the information on internet access, in the very near future.
      Times have been very difficult for a number of our families this year.  The heartfelt thank you notes from parents are a true testament to the value of these computers.   The Masonic Angel Fund and the Laptops for Kids program are wonderful,  and I hope the good work continues for a very long time.   Our school is proud,  and grateful, to be a part of it.
     Thank you to all of the Masons who are part of the Masonic Angel Fund program,  who receive these computers and spend endless hours refurbishing them, installing programs for our students, and delivering them to schools.   And a special thank you to Bob Fellows for including us in this most worthy mission.

Joanne Amaru
Associate Director,
Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School
Masonic Angels place 250th Laptop for KidZ

The Laptops for KidZ project of the Masonic Angel Foundation placed its 250th laptop this week at Orleans Elementary School.

Laptops for KidZ (LFK) placed its very first laptop at Orleans Elementary back on May 12, 2010. 

Ironically Orleans school nurse MaryEllen Reed requested a computer last week just before school vacation, and that machine appropriately turned out to be #250. 

This 250th MAF computer will go home with an Orleans Elementary School student who needs to work on skill practice activities.

Amazing 2-year record by local charity

It is impressive what this grassroots and highly local charity has accomplished in a period of national economic downturn--the effects of which have rippled through public school budgets here and elsewhere.

It is really quite an amazing thing when you consider it began in Orleans, then spread to other Masonic lodges across the country.  There are no expenses to the schools--the local Masons pay for everything in this Laptops For KidZ program.

Established only two years ago in March 2010, Laptops for KidZ places computers with local schools to be sent home with children who would not otherwise have computer access outside school hours.  LFK has placed 258 computers since May 2010. 

The eight are to towns off Cape. The chart at the bottom shows where each of the laptops went.

Machines are provided to schools absolutely free of charge, with local Masonic Angel Fund chapters underwriting the very low cost to refurbish and license the machines. 

A select group of desktop computers are refurbished for use in classroom instruction.  All work is done by the Masons’ team of skilled volunteers.

"We were so pleased that #250 ended up in Orleans, completing the circle of a great journey over the past two years," said MAF Board President Robert Fellows.  "Orleans is where we got our start. Since then we’ve worked with almost every town on the Cape and have expanded the program to our chapters on the other side of the bridges. It was very nice to share this milestone with the people of Orleans," said Fellows.

350 came in, 250 went out

LFK project director Mario Meré observed that over 350 computers passed through the volunteers’ hands in order to produce 250 usable machines for the Cape's schools.  "If a computer comes in that simply isn’t viable, our volunteers strip it for parts.  Oftentimes another laptop will come in that needs some repairs and we find the parts we need amongst those removed from non-viable machines."

Mr. Meré also praised volunteer Chief Technician Benjamin Richardson of Dennis.  "Ben has worked hundreds upon hundreds of hours to refurbish the computers.  Ben has breathed life into machines all of us declared dead.  He has refurbished close to 200 of our first 250 computers."

Laptops for KidZ computers are configured with either Windows XP Professional or Windows 7 Professional, made available to the Masonic Angel Foundation through the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher program.  Machines are outfitted with OpenOffice, Adobe Reader and Avast! anti-virus software.

Apple OK for teacher, not for Angels

LFK accepts donations of functional notebook computers with at least a Pentium 4 processor. 

LFK generally does not accept donations of desktops or any Apple product whatsoever.  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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