Since last April the Masonic Angels have provided the middle school primarily with laptops to be sent home with children who would not otherwise have access to a computer outside school hours. The Masons also donated several desktop computers for use in student instruction. Last month they gave the school a “pop-up computer lab” of 33 low-end netbooks for student writing and research projects.
Adding 100 computers to a school that serves 585 students makes quite an impact, as principal Maxine Minkoff tells Cape Cod Today…
You cannot go anywhere today: the workplace, school, home, recreation, where technology is not present. Even our plans for our greenhouse include teaching students about the engineering and technology used in greenhouse irrigation and temperature control. Used correctly, technology is a tool that provides students with the opportunity to extend their understanding and their thinking. It is our responsibility to provide them with opportunities to become nimble in their use of all technology: computers, notebooks, iPads, and other technological devices. The Masons have provided this opportunity to the Middle School by not only providing home computers for students in need, but also providing us with stand-alone computers with which we can differentiate instruction, and classrooms of notebooks that allow class instruction with students able to write, edit, and research right at their desks. We are most grateful.
Partnership Saves Taxpayer Money
The partnership with Nauset Middle School began by happenstance. “Last summer we received a large donation of netbooks and a couple of them went to Nauset Middle School,” says Masonic Angel Foundation president Robert Fellows. “I happened to deliver the machines myself and was invited in to meet Dr. Minkoff. Maxine laid out her vision for integrating technology into her students’ day-to-day education. Not only was her plan a compelling one, she is an acutely persuasive woman – a powerful advocate for her students.”
Donor generosity was essential to bring more computers to Nauset Middle School. “We had machines donated by teachers at the school, parents of middle school children, local businesses and generous citizens throughout the Nauset region,” reports Laptops for KidZ project director Mario Meré. “This school enjoys strong community support and it really showed.”
The Masons estimate the fair market value of computers placed at Nauset Middle School at between $15,000 and $20,000, based on the cost of a refurbished computer of similar configuration. It might be more according to Mr. Meré, “Refurbished computers can cost upwards of $350 but we tend to be very conservative in our valuations.”
Nauset Regional School District superintendent Dr. Richard Hoffmann truly appreciates the partnership with the Masonic Angels, as he recently told Cape Cod Today…
We are deeply grateful to the Masonic Angel Foundation for their generous and thoughtful donation of computers to Nauset Middle School. The District is in the process of expending considerable sums to update the technology infrastructure at the school – servers, switches, cabling, and wireless access. As a result, we have had to defer purchases of computers and other devices. However, through the Masonic Angel’s gift, we can upgrade some of our older computers now and better ensure that our students can access the new, powerful network technology that we are building. We are so fortunate to have the Masonic Angel Foundation as a partner in education!
The Work Continues
Laptops for KidZ has placed 527 computers with schools across Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts. LFK is a non-profit member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program and receives Microsoft Windows licenses at a generous discount. All donated computers are wiped/overwritten and then reconfigured in accordance with the Microsoft program’s guidelines. Most computers arrive at school with a fresh Windows 7 Professional license, Avast! anti-virus software and OpenOffice or LibreOffice productivity software.
MAF co-founder Robert Fellows reminds us, “We never know the identity of the child who receives our computer. The school determines the need and places the computer with the student whose need is best fulfilled by a particular computer.” Schools often load specialized education software on LFK computers before they are sent home with a student.
Donate Your Laptop
Laptops for KidZ accepts donations of functional laptops with at least a Pentium 4 processor. LFK also 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