Computer Banc Teams with State on Pilot Program to Improve Children's Digital Literacy

Rep. Jimenez with Computer Banc Executive Director David Fowler
Computer Banc is teaming up with State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, other area lawmakers, and state officials and agencies to help improve children’s access to digital literacy tools. The pilot program aims to repurpose surplus government computers to provide children low cost learning tools for education readiness both at school and at home. Rep. Jimenez (R-Leland Grove) said she is excited to work with Computer Banc on its idea to get more computers to schools at a low cost and help children access vital technology.

“Our children need to be technologically savvy to be able to contribute and compete today. Computer Banc is doing a great job giving surplus computer equipment new life to provide very low cost access to technology for cash-strapped schools and families,” said Representative Jimenez. “These repurposed computers are tailored to schools’ individual needs; and can also be sent home with students to continue their work, whether or not they have Wi-Fi in their home.”
“We’re pleased that CMS is able to play a part in supporting Illinois’ non-profit community by facilitating the transfer of these computers,” stated Acting Director Michael Hoffman of Illinois Central Management Services, the agency tasked with managing state and federal surplus property. 
The pilot program is currently nearing the end of its initial stage which included the distribution of 142 HT Pilot computers to three public school districts (Bunker Hill CSD 8, Riverton CUSD 14 and Rooks Creek CCSD 425), the Teddy Bear Christian Child Development Center daycare, and the Springfield YMCA. The CB-H computers provide online web browser access featuring Google Chrome for classroom learning and Testnav functionality for required assessment testing.

“The Computer Banc pilot program has afforded our students the opportunity to integrate real- time technology into their classrooms. 21st century learning is essential for all students to be career and college ready in today’s global economy. Technology is growing faster than most ‘for profit’ companies can keep up with, let alone underfunded schools,” said Principal Stephanie Cann, Wolfe Ridge Elementary and Jr High School. “I believe that Mr. Fowler and his dedicated group at Computer Banc have truly set up a win-win situation for our youth by involving older students in the device refurbishment, and then providing the younger students the occasion to immerse technology into their actual daily curriculum. The additional assistance and maintenance of the low-cost pilot computers aids our district’s minimal technology budget, while the provided pre-loaded software programs deliver more learning choices for our students.”
David Fowler, Executive Director of Computer Banc, says the response has been very positive from all schools and organizations participating in this initial pilot program. He said their feedback will help with minor adjustments in preparation for a second, larger pilot program set for launch later this year.

“In preparation for the second larger pilot for the 2017/2018 school year, Computer Banc has begun to repurpose over two-thousand computers for Illinois schools and students,” Director Fowler said.  “All the computers are available for less than one hundred dollars and warrantied for the entire pilot year. It’s gratifying to be a catalyst in providing low cost technology solutions for education and to receive the level of cooperation from all the pilot participants, government agencies, and Illinois elected officials.”
For more information on the pilot program, click here.

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