Computers for low-income households?

Georg (media@web.net)
Wed, 8 Sep 1999 13:12:35 -0400


(Forwarder's Note: Complied from postings to
Benton's Up For Grabs Discussion Forum 
... so the sources are mostly US... but some are available to
meet international needs. 
Many are designed to help schools and school aged kids.)

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

Date sent:      	Tue, 7 Sep 1999 16:27:06 -0400
via:  	The Up for Grabs Discussion List <UPFORGRABS-L@CDINET.COM>
From:           	Harriet Bograd <HBograd@COMPUSERVE.COM>
Subject:        	Computers for low-income households?


My daughter has just entered an alternate public middle school in New York
City, and I've been talking with the principal and PTA about trying to
find ways to make it easier for the families in the school, especially
low-income and Hispanic families, to get computers at home.

I'm assuming that there are ways to get very low-cost, high-quality
computers these days (including the so-called "free" ones), but that it
would be helpful to gather and organize information about how a low-income
family with little experience with computers might go about getting
started.  In particular, I'm interested in whether anyone is marketing
inexpensive or free computers for use by Spanish-speaking families in
low-income neighborhoods. I'd love to see these pre-configured so the
parents can use software in Spanish and the kids can use it in English.

I've noticed that the Benton Foundation Web site has some wonderful
reports related to the "digital divide" and to the shortage of computers
in Hispanic communities.  What I'm thinking about is how to move forward
to package or market computers to low-income groups, and how PTA's and
schools might play a role in this.

Here are my questions:

1) Is this the right place to brainstorm about this idea - or can you
suggest other online discussion groups that would be more appropriate?

2) Who else is already working in this area?  How can I contact them?  (I
know that there are some leads in the reports on the Web sites - I'll
follow these very soon).

[Introduction:  In addition to my life as a PTA parent, I'm also a lawyer
interested in "cyber-accountability" of nonprofit organizations.]

Thanks.

 Harriet Bograd, Attorney/Consultant, <hbograd@compuserve.com>
 Coordinator, Cyber-Accountability Listserv
    (to join, write to tlegg@npccny.org)
 Web Site: http://www.bway.net/~hbograd/cyb-acc.html

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

From:           	Julie James <jjames@VSLA.EDU>
Subject:        	Re: Computers for low-income households?

Harriet-

Please don't overlook your public library as a resource! Most have
public-access computers (a great way to get started), and many provide
computer and internet classes at no charge. You'll also find related
books, magazines, and instructional videos to check out.

This link to New York Public Library has a section for internet classes,
including classes in Spanish and bilingual classes, at many different
locations. (all are free) http://www.nypl.org/branch/classes/instruct.html

HTH-
~~~
Julie James
Technology Consultant
The Library of Virginia
804/692-0800
jjames@vsla.edu

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From:           	William M Callahan <bilcal@JUNO.COM>
Subject:        	Re: Computers for low-income households?

Harriet, you asked:

> 2) Who else is already working in this area?  How
> can I contact  them?  (I  know that there are some
> leads in the reports on the Web sites - I'll
> follow these very soon).

We've helped about 450 families in our community
get cheap computers in the past four years.  Recently
more than half of the participants in Computer
Ownership for Neighbors have been Puerto Rican
families (just about everybody is low income.)
The PCs are mostly recycled (currently 486DXs), but
probably a couple dozen of these neighbors have bought
PowerSpecs or eMachines in the last year.

So... I guess we're "working in this area".  You can contact
us via email or phone, see below.

Bill Callahan       <bilcal@juno.com>
Stockyards Computer Ownership for Neighbors
West Side Community Computer Center
Cleveland, OH
<http://little.nhlink.net/nhlink/sada/>
(216) 631-0370

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

From:           	Bonnie Bracey <BBracey@AOL.COM>
Subject:        	Re: Computers for low-income households?

 From the George Lucas Educational Website
Grant section

Computers for Learning
http://www.computers.fed.gov
Hotline: (888) 362-7870
The computers for Learning program donates surplus federal computer
equipment to schools and educational nonprofits, giving special
consideration to those with the greatest need. Any public, private, or
parochial school or home-school serving pre-K through 12 students in the
U.S. or it's territories is eligible.

Computer Recycling Center, Inc. (CRC)
http://www.crc.org
E-mail: info@crc.org
Phone: (408) 327-1800
Computer Recycling Center, Inc., 2971 Mead Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Through its "Recycling Computers for Education" program, CRC has been
placing refurbished computers in California schools for the past five
years. With its new "One Hundred for One Hundred" national campaign, CRC's
goal is to inspire 100 groups, businesses, or individuals to collect 100
computers each over the course of 100 days, and then place these computers
in schools within each community.

Detwiler Foundation
http://www.detwiler.org
http://www.computersforschools.org
E-mail: tedu@detwiler.org
Phone: (800) 939-6000
Detwiler Foundation, 470 Nautilus Street, Suite 400, La Jolla, CA 92037
Nonprofit foundation accepts, repairs, and places donated computer
equipment into K-12 schools in 22 states. Their goal is to reduce the
national ratio of students-to-computers to one computer for every five
students-a goal that can be accomplished if just ten percent of the
computers taken out of service each year were donated.

PEP Site: National Computer Recycling Programs
microweb.com/pepsite/
http://microweb.com/pepsite/
http://www.microweb.com/pepsite/
A state, national and international directory of agencies that facilitate
donations of used computer hardware for schools and community groups.
Provides annotations and contact information for programs such as the
National Cristina Foundation, the East West Education Development
Foundation, and the National Education Technology Initiative, among
others.

Gifts In Kind International
http://www.giftsinkind.org
Phone: (703) 836-2121
Gifts In Kind International, 333 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Each year, thousands of companies contribute hundreds of millions of
dollars in newly manufactured products through Gifts In Kind International
to a network of over 50,000 charities around the world. To receive product
donations and discounts, registration with Gifts In Kind International's
Agency Partner program is required. The annual cost is $125 if your
revenue is less than $1 million and $250 if your budget is more than $1
million.

I know it is more for schools, but just thought I would pass it along.
Bonnie Bracey

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From:           	"Rev. Fred Williams" <matt633@NETZERO.NET>
Subject:        	Re: Computers for low-income households?

Dear Harriet:

         My personal experience with the Free PC's companies such as
http://www.freepc.com is that they are consumer sales based. The low to medium
income community isn't considered a financially sound choice for new for
advertisers. Companies like http://www.zapme.com only target large school
populations.  However there are other web resources and computer tools.
>From Web TV to Sega gaming stations , all can provide access to the
Internet. Don't be fooled, while software like NewDeal provides limited
access and extended use for older 286 and 386 PC's, only 468 PC provide
java  and video support.

         I have a community CD-ROM which has a variety of recycling
resources and software to assist in the development PC resources, and
opening access for the faith community and individuals. My Seeking Help
on-line community is a resource area to help as well.

http://www.webb.net/webb/community/community.asp?id=1495 

Send me your address and I'll drop one in the mail for you.

        Being an attorney might I suggest that you use the Bar Association
to find PC resources.  Law Firms and CPA's turnover systems quite
regularly. While Not For Profit organizations have better access to
systems, individuals with space and volunteers with several trucks can
make a difference. On to your questions:


1) Is this the right place to brainstorm about this idea - or can you
suggest other online discussion groups that would be more appropriate?

Yes, this is an excellent place for content, Ideals and links to
resources.

2) Who else is already working in this area?  How can I contact them?  (I
know that there are some leads in the reports on the Web sites - I'll
follow these very soon).

There are a variety of groups working towards providing resources for low
income families, however the commercial manufacturers aren't particularly
interested.  Resources are in somewhat abundance for Public and Private
schools, however, the individual family can find some assistance.  New
York City has numerous outlets for computers. Here's some links which can
help:

http://www.ctcnet.org - New York Representative Andrea Kimmish-Keyser

Forge Ahead - Not For Profit Computing - Brenda Peart - 
FORGEAHED@aol.com
+1 (718) 455-1471

http://www.Drivershq.com  For the latest in hardware and setup drivers for
donated PC.

Free Internet Access - http://www.netzero.com

Free Internet Access - http://www.tritium.net

Linct Coalition  http://www.linct.org  
Dr. Ken Komoski  komoski@aurora.liunet.edu

Dr. Alan Shaw 's Linking up Villages 
http://www.luv.org 
acs@MEDIA.MIT.EDU
"Linking up Villages uses interactive software and a quad system, where
four families in a quad living area share personal computers, each
mentoring and supporting use of the community pc's. As more systems become
available, these families engage others, expanding the network.

I'm in NYC quite often, and am always looking for an excuse to extend my
stay, "Washington DC being such a small town"! Feel free to call me at
(301) 856-3520, and let's talk.  I would love to provide some assistance
to you!


Rev. Fred I. Williams
SYF Associates & Ministry
ICQ #5025001
(301) 856-3520
(301) 868-7570

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

From:           	Barry Forbes <bforbes@CIVILRIGHTSFORUM.ORG>
Subject:        	Re: Computers for low-income households?

At 04:27 PM 09/07/1999 -0400, Harriet Bograd wrote:
>My daughter has just entered an alternate public middle school in New
>York City, and I've been talking with the principal and PTA about trying
>to find ways to make it easier for the families in the school, especially
>low-income and Hispanic families, to get computers at home.
<snip>

Community Technology Centers' Network (CTCNet) is also a great source of
training, access to computers, and ideas for getting low-cost computers
and software. CTCNet has over 30 affiliates in New York City alone. Their
website is at http://www.ctcnet.org/ and for a listing of over 350 CTCNet
affiliates, see http://www2.ctcnet.org/ctc.asp

The Civil Rights Forum is partnering with CTCNet on a Kellogg-fund project
called "Managing Information with Rural America"
<http://www.civilrightsforum.org/mira.htm> and we've also been active in
advocating Dept. of Education funding for vocational training at community
tech centers <http://www.civilrightsforum.org/ctcfunds.htm>.

-- Barry

____________________________________________
Barry Forbes, Dir. of Community Programs
Civil Rights Forum on Communications Policy
818 18th St, NW, #505, Washington DC 20006
Voice: 202-887-0301  Fax: 202-887-0305
Web: http://www.civilrightsforum.org

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