Computers are a necessary part of the modern school experience. Children need them to do research at home, to type out and print reports, and to put together multimedia presentations for class. Most of them will end up working with computers in some aspect once they graduate and enter the work force too, so experience with the machines is practically a necessity in our modern world. But not every family can afford to purchase a computer for their children to use at home.
The Carter County Kiwanis Club, however, is working with the Carter County Board of Education and the Youth Service Centers to help bridge that educational gap and bring computers into the homes of those students. With the help of a group of Kiwanis members from Knoxville, Tennessee who call themselves “the Geeks” the local chapter has picked up, and are distributing, 40 computer systems – complete with monitors and printers – to families across the county.
Johnson explained that he first heard about the work the Geeks were doing during a national convention of Kiwanis members in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The members of the group, who are all retired from various tech industry jobs, collect and refurbish computer equipment in their spare time before distributing them in their communities. After he saw that they had contributed 96 computers to another Kiwanis club, Johnson reached out to see if he could get some computers from them for Carter County youth and was offered the initial 40 computers.
“I got on the phone on a Thursday, and by Friday I had 40 (computers) promised,” he said.
He was also told that Carter County would “always be in line” for more. Johnson made the trip to pick up the computers last month, along with Barrett Bush from the Carter County Public Schools system. He then worked with the Youth Service Centers in the middle schools to determine which students would benefit most from the donations.
The Kiwanis club plans to continue working with the Geeks to distribute more computers to children at all grade levels, he said.
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