Computer recycling helps schoolchildren | NevadaAppeal.com

Computer recycling helps schoolchildren

Becky Bosshart

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Troy Dennis, technical director of Computer Corps, installs a fan on the back of a computer Tuesday.

About 200 Carson-area children will receive computers this year through ComputerCorps’ computer literacy program.

Ron Norton, development director of ComputerCorps, plans to take this program across the nation. So far, he’s gotten the attention of a national community-service group.

ComputerCorps’ has received a $223,000 grant to employ 18 full-time AmeriCorps members. These workers will expand the computer recycling program in this area and outward.

Norton said they were chosen for this grant because AmeriCorps heard about the work the company was doing with the Every Home a Classroom program.

“They see this as a possible national model,” Norton said Tuesday.

School-age children who don’t have a computer at home can qualify for a free computer system through the state-funded program. Norton said the community needs this program because it’s good for the environment, and it helps educate children.

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For a year, the program was funded by the Nevada State Department of Education. Teachers, school counselors, principals or other nonprofit organizations can refer a child to the program. Last year, 150 computers were given away.

“The families that don’t have a computer in the home typically are low income,” Norton said. “They can’t afford it sometimes. Or families don’t have the technical background.”

The 18 AmeriCorps members will develop the program so that it can work on a larger scale. They’ll collect old computer and electronics, sort them, take them apart, build new ones and distribute them to needy kids. They start Oct. 15.

“We turn e-waste (electronic) into a lifetime of learning for a young kid who’d never otherwise have a computer,” Norton said.

AmeriCorps’ members receive a monthly allowance of $850 a month and a $5,000 education allowance after they complete one year of service. The members must work 35 hours a week for 50 weeks.

The grant was provided through the Corporation for National and Community Service, which provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through three programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America.

Have a child who needs a computer ?

Referral of eligible families to ComputerCorps can be made through public or private education, religious and human service agencies. Referring organizations can call or e-mail ComputerCorps at 883-2323 or EHAC@computercorps.net

ComputerCorps is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to computer technology and skills training for all citizens, while eliminating electronic waste from landfills.

For information on the six AmeriCorps positions still open at ComputerCorps, 6373 Highway 50 E., contact Paul Normandie at 883-2323 or go to http://www.computercorps.org

Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.