Laptops for KidZ reaches milestone in less than two years
Masonic Angels place 250th Laptop for KidZ
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.