I have to find a way to sneak in the following video into the blog. It’s a public service announcements (PSA) from 1995 that features fifth graders from Helena Montana as they try to sell the Internet. It’s fun but it’s amazingly prophetic when you listen to what they think the Internet will bring to the future. They recognize that the Internet will be the phone, the television, the shopping center and the place to get cupcake recipes for cats.
My job in 1995 was to sell the Internet – and while there were plenty of adults who got it; there were also plenty who didn’t. Kids seem to have the vision – partially because they don’t worry about practicalities – but I think part of building an effective future is arming kids with the tools they need to have the vision – and today that includes broadband. So I was pleased to learn about PCs for Kids in the Upper Minnesota River Valley.
PCs for Kids is an extension of the PCs for People initiative – the idea is to refurbish donated computers to give computers to families who need them. Upper Minnesota River Valley got 100 computers delivered through the MIRC project funding and due to the great work and flexibility of PCs for People. Five school districts in their region had been anxiously waiting for last Friday when PCs for People delivered 100 computers to Lac qui Parle Valley High School. From there the four other area schools came in trucks and school vans to pick up their computers that were for families that were selected to receive a computer from their list of eligible free and reduced lunch program families. Ortonville received 5 computers, Benson received 25 computers, MACCRAY received 20 computers, Yellow Medicine East received 20 computers and Lac qui Parle Valley received 30. Through this project they also have a $50 rebate available for these families if they are a new internet subscriber.
I wanted to share notes from of the participants…
It was amazing to see 25 of the people out of the 30 show up last evening to receive their computers. One of the Moms said then we have to give these back at the end of the school year right? And I said no these are your families computers and it is our hope that you and your children will make great use of them. Now, you will be able to access school information on the website and this will help your children understand that school is a priority. She had tears in her eyes when she realized the computer was hers, with very little strings attached. It is times like that when we truly understand the impact we can have on our student’s lives.