February 13, 2007
For immediate release
UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School meets with Computers for Families to help bridge the digital divide
Members from Computers for Families (CFF) will discuss the non-profit’s work helping to bridge the digital divide at the Gevirtz School on Thursday, February 15 from 12 noon – 1 pm in Phelps Hall 1172 on the UC Santa Barbara campus. This presentation is primarily for faculty, students, and staff, but a limited number of general public may attend; please contact George Yatchisin at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. Kelly R. Smith, member of the Computers for Families Goleta Branch Steering Committee says, “CFF provides the largest single teaching tool available today. Come help us ensure it’s available tomorrow too.”
The Computers for Families Project provides students from low-income families with refurbished computers, Internet access, and training. Santa Barbara Computers for Families has placed more than 5,000 computers into the homes of Santa Barbara County school children whose parents cannot afford to purchase these increasingly important learning tools. In addition to providing computers, CFF trains teachers and students how to use them effectively to enhance education. The project operates under the joint auspices of the Santa Barbara Partners in Education and the Santa Barbara County Education Office.
Students at the Los Prietos Boys Camp, a county-managed residential treatment programs for youth committed by local courts for their behavior problems, install upgraded components, clean, refurbish, and certify approximately 50 donated computers per week. On a class-by-class basis at local elementary schools, the director and staff of CFF provide needy students with training on installation and operation of their “new” computer before they take it home. The program is triply successful: 1) it gives students self esteem and a chance to develop meaningful skills for a future career; 2) it offers students a positive opportunity to provide some form of reparation to the community at large, and; 3) the end product – refurbished and fully operational computers – provides great intrinsic value to hundreds of families each year.
Jane Close Conoley, Dean of the Gevirtz School, said, “We welcome this continuing dialogue with the CFF team. Our faculty and students have been involved in this effort and are looking for additional strategies to eliminate the divide between high and low income students’ access to technology.We know that at least 60% of our future economic growth will be in technology areas. We want every child to have equitable access to this future.”