After our successful pilot program at Emlen Elementary, we were given the go-ahead by the Philadelphia school district to work with schools directly. Through the Mt. Airy Schools Coalition, we learned of the technology needs at Henry H. Houston Elementary and decided to see if PCF would be able to offer assistance.
After our initial meeting with Principal Hall and computer teacher and TTL Ms Greenberg, we realized Houston was the perfect project for PCF. The need was great, Ms Greenberg is a very capable technology teacher, and the school was just the right size (about 65 some odd computers total).
The plan was to ensure each classroom got up to three computers total and then set up a separate Home & School Association room for parents and students to access the internet and utilize a printer.
We started by hooking up a computer into Ms Greenberg’s computer lab so she could get a feel for what Linux (Xubuntu) machines were like. And as you can tell from her testimonial below, she was THRILLED about the speed of the refurbished machine and how easy it was to use.
Ms. Greenberg: “The computers are MACHINES. Super super quick and easy. Things have been quiet so they are easy to use too! Everyone is really excited and grateful. I don’t really even know how to begin to thank YOU and your team. It honestly is unreal…” Read her full testimonial here.
PCF then ordered all the power strips (1 per class), network switches (1 per class), and patch cables to get ready. Then in Mid may, PCF rented the truck, loaded up all our equipment and headed for Mt Airy. Houston students helped us unload and haul all the goods to an empty classroom (staging) on the third floor.
For the next three days, PCF volunteers, ITT Technical Institute work study students/employees, and a cadre of Houston student volunteers, helped to install all the computers.
A week or so later, the thank you cards were coming in. Not the scripted ones dictated by a teacher but very personal ones that told us we are doing the right thing.
So now that Houston was under our belt, and the speed and efficiency with which we were able to install the equipment, showed us we were ready for any school that needs our help.
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