Masons give 300th free Laptops for KidZ to local schools

Masons place 300th Laptop for KidZ in Cape Cod area schools


   Dr. Maxine Minkoff, principal of Nauset Middle School, shows off the 300th computer placed by Laptops for KidZ since May 2010.  Dr. Minkoff praised the Masons for helping to boost students’ confidence and hopes for their future.

Laptops for KidZ places 50 computers in last 3 months alone

"Giving a student in need a computer of his or her very own and watching the student light up has been one of my most gratifying experiences."
          - Maxine Minkoff, NMS.
The Laptops for KidZ project of the Masonic Angel Foundation placed its 300th laptop this week at thew Nauset Regional Middle School.

Just three months ago Cape Cod Today reported when Laptops for KidZ (LFK) placed its 250th Laptop at Orleans Elementary School.  LFK’s volunteers were surprised that they jumped from 250 to 300 so quickly.  “These were all small quantity donations of five or fewer computers, mainly from individuals and small businesses,” said project director Mario Meré.

“Laptop #300” was donated by Nikki Carter of William Raveis Real Estate.  The computer is a Dell Inspiron 600M laptop.

Nikki Carter of William Raveis Real Estate in East Orleans donated Laptop #300, a Dell Inspiron 600M.Established 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 302 computers since May 2010.  Machines are provided to schools absolutely free of charge, with local Masonic Angel Fund chapters covering 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.

In addition to filling a backlog of requests from May and June, the Masons continue to receive requests from the schools throughout the summer vacation.

“Our schools never sleep,” said MAF president Robert Fellows.  “They request laptops for students who need them for summer instruction programs or for incoming students who will need a laptop as a learning tool when school opens.”

One of the schools that “never sleeps” is Nauset Regional Middle School.  Principal Maxine Minkoff has kept Laptops for KidZ busy throughout the summer.  Dr. Minkoff received two laptops right after school closed to fill pending requests and then discovered additional children who would benefit from having a laptop after reviewing their spring academic progress.

Nauset Middle School is one of the schools that “never sleeps” where Principal Maxine Minkoff has kept Laptops for KidZ busy throughout the summer.When asked about LFK’s impact on her students, Dr. Minkoff told Cape Cod Today, “The Masonic Angels are aptly named.  Giving a student in need a computer of his or her very own and watching the student light up has been one of my most gratifying experiences.  

This gift from the Masons both enables these young recipients to come to school prepared, and lets them know that people in the community care about them.  It's a boost to their confidence and to their hopes for the future.”

Laptops for KidZ computers are configured with either Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows Professional, obtained by the Masonic Angel Foundation as a non-profit member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher program. 

Mary, one of the Masonic Angel Foundation's office cats, guards a desktop computer that was refurbished for classroom use. “Microsoft is very generous with us,” reports Mario Meré.  Volunteers also install OpenOffice, Avast! antivirus and Adobe Reader on each laptop, along with Windows versions of the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook e-book readers.

LFK volunteers report that approximately 400 computers passed through their hands in order to produce 300 usable machines for the schools.  Volunteer Chief Technician Benjamin Richardson of Dennis is especially talented at “making one good laptop out of three broken ones.”

Laptops for KidZ accepts donations of functional laptops with at least a Pentium 4 processor. 

LFK accepts select Windows desktops but does not accept Apple products.  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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