Refurbishing Lessons at Houston

In our effort to make schools more self sufficient, we created our "IT Support Teams" program which teaches 4th and 5th graders how to do parts of the refurbishing and performing the updating of machines themselves. Last year, PCF spent a lot of time coming up with a process that makes this possible (thanks to DAO Technologies as described here). The intent is for these young students to do the bulk of the updating and [...]

Pilot: Emlen 5th Graders Refurbish (& Install) Their Own Computers

PCF spent the day at Emlen Elementary in East Mt. Airy to launch a new way for us to support schools with classroom computers. PCF's "IT Support Team" program refurbishes and installs computers on-site with the help of the school's own students. These students learned a lot while PCF benefitted from their labor. And together we made 4 teachers very happy campers with computers in their classrooms. Earlier this year DAO Technologies donated a lot of their time and devised a great new [...]

Mini Lab Installation in Kensington

Right next to Cramp Elementary school, whom we supplied with classroom computers in the past, is the Schmidt Recreation Center. The Center helps students after school with homework and other programs. When we contacted Cramp about updating their computers, they asked if PCF would be willing to help the Rec Center with computers. After reading their application, this was a no brainer ! In part, it read: Schmidt Playground is located next to Cramp School [...]

November 24th, 2016|Categories: Publicly Accessible Mini-Labs|Tags: |

Logan Computers Updated

PCF Recently updated all 50-some-odd computers at Logan Elementary. Logan was the first school we updated using PCF's new "imaging" method. Since we installed the computers at Logan last year, Adobe discontinued Flash for the version of Linux we had been using and Google replaced Chrome with another browser (Chromium). As a result, some websites used by students did not work anymore. In the past, it would have taken several volunteers about a week to [...]

November 24th, 2016|Categories: Classroom Computers|Tags: |

PCF’s New State-of-the-Art Refurbishing Process

We could have used a few different titles for this post such as "How To Save Yourself 60+ Minutes Per Machine", or "Fast and Error-Free Refurbishing" or "How DAO Technologies Saved PCF !" among others. PCF has been incredibly fortunate to have received support from DAO Technologies this Fall. DAO devised a very practical, state-of-the-art way to refurbish computers or to update those already installed: Rather than configure each machine individually, we now create a [...]

Radnor Middle School Book Donation

The Radnor School District has been a great partner of PCF over time, supplying us with laptops, computers, carts, and books. Many Philadelphia schools have benefited from their generosity. When their librarian Catherine contacted us about another donation of books, it sounded like we'd be picking up a few boxes. When we got there, however, it looked like we would not be able to fit them all. As you can tell by the photos, it [...]

Support from FIS Global

Out of the blue, PCF received a letter and checks from FIS Global employees totaling nearly $700. As per the letter, the office was moving to another location and furniture and paintings were auctioned off to employees with the proceeds going to a good cause. We are grateful they chose PCF and we will make sure the money goes to good use (we are currently actively refurbishing computers for the new school year) !

September 20th, 2016|Categories: PCF News|

Outdoor Classroom & Painting at Emlen

PCF was contacted by the Land Health Institute to assist with an outdoor classroom area and painting of the annex building at Emlen elementary. PCF has a long history with Emlen and LHI so we were thrilled to assist. On a very hot and steamy day in August, PCF's Jan Deruiter brought a car full of tools for volunteers, chainsaw, painting supplies, etc. and spent three days volunteering with various volunteers under the guidance of [...]

August 16th, 2016|Categories: PCF News|Tags: |

PCF in the Chestnut Hill Local

A long article about PCF, written by Sue Ann Rybak, was published in The Chestnut Hill Local today. Sue accompanied PCF's Jan Deruiter at a recent 3D printing class at Emlen Elementary in East Mt. Airy. Thank you Sue for your in depth article and raising awareness of the urgent need in our public schools and the work PCF does for our public neighborhood schools. View the article on the Chestnut Hill Local website. If [...]

20-Unit Laptop Cart for Houston Elementary

Today, we put the finishing touches on a 20-unit laptop cart at Houston Elementary. The second grade teacher, Ms. Renfer, is getting assistance from the district's regional Technology Integration Specialist on how to best integrate technology into her curriculum. The Philadelphia Children's Foundation believes that the earlier students are exposed to technology, the better. So when an ambitious second grade teacher reached out, we were determined to try and help. The most important piece was [...]

3D Classes at Emlen and Logan

After finishing up our 3D printing classes at Henry two weeks ago, we have started a new course at Emlen and expect to start another at Logan soon. Both these classes will run until the end of the school year. PCF owns an old 3d printer that was donated to us. We bring the printer to class with us so kids can see how it works. During the week following class, PCF touches up the [...]

ABCya! Lowers Flash Requirements

ABCya! is one of the most popular educational games websites among students in the various schools we work with. It offers students of all ages/grades educational games to teach them math, reading, and so on while having fun. A few weeks ago, we learned that the company had raised its Flash requirements to the latest version offered by Adobe. But unfortunately, that latest version of Flash no longer works on older computers, including the ones [...]

3D Printing Classes at CW Henry

PCF wrapped up the 3D printing course at Henry in West Mt. Airy last week. For the last few months, we have worked with their students on using web based 3D programs. The 3D printer is a novelty and sending students home with the plastic trinkets they created is a great motivator. In the process of creating the various objects, students learn computer skills that also apply to many other types of graphics programs such [...]

April 29th, 2016|Categories: Technology Classes|Tags: , |

Classroom Computers for James Logan

We found out about Logan Elementary, located just NW of Mt. Airy, from the Principal at Emlen. After meeting with Logan's Principal and TTL, PCF decided to support them with our Classroom Computers program. Man, are we glad we did. In fact, we liked working with this school so much that we will be starting our 3D printing class at Logan in mid May. Like all other schools, Logan's needs are vast. But what made [...]

April 1st, 2016|Categories: Classroom Computers|Tags: |

Classroom Computers & Mini-Lab at W. Cramp

Thanks to our donors and volunteers, PCF was able to install 30 computers into various classrooms and the Family Resource Room at William Cramp Elementary. Prior to installing the computers, PCF  provided Cramp with 8 donated iPads. In addition to setting up mini labs in various classrooms, we also outfitted a room that is used by parents to access the internet, fill out applications, write resumes, and take GED classes. We were thrilled to have [...]

School Front Office Technology

At PCF, we spend most of our time inside Philadelphia public school classrooms. Over the course of the last couple of years, we have spent countless hours inside roughly 150 classrooms in schools all over Philadelphia. While many rooms are OK, or even 'fine', quite often we experience: rooms without enough power to operate a vacuum cleaner (not that we offer cleaning services but you get the point) outlets that are so old that you [...]

March 29th, 2016|Categories: PCF News|

Classroom Computers at E.T. Steel

PCF installed almost 50 computers into Steel classrooms in a mad rush before the start of PSSA tests (at which point no visitors would be allowed into the building, let alone classrooms). Earlier in the year, PCF supplied hundreds of coded books to Steel, located in Nicetown (East of Germantown). We need your help to continue offering these important programs. Please consider making a donation to support our work. Or contact us if [...]

March 28th, 2016|Categories: Classroom Computers|

PCF Supports “The ITEM” With Laptops

Philadelphia is lucky to have a program that assists post high-school minorities and women in the field of technology.  The Item (which stands for "Inclusive Technology & Entrepreneurship Movement") has regular meet-up meetings where they discuss technology and get hands-on experience. At a recent meet-up, The Item got into programming and were looking for laptops for five of their their members. Another organization put them in touch with PCF. We gave five of their aspiring [...]

March 26th, 2016|Categories: PCF News, Take Home Computers|

The Move Before The Storm

We have learned that it helps to move our equipment into staging rooms inside schools before we show up at a future date to install them. This way, we cut down on truck rental expenses plus we make the most efficient use of our volunteers' time during installation and it gives us a chance to get the lay of the land beforehand. We have also learned that for two people to move 130+ computers into [...]

Helping to Put Ex-Offenders to Work

PCF is proud to be working with PAR-Recycleworks whose mission is to responsibly recycle electronics and through this process, help pay for salaries and job skill development for formerly incarcerated men and women in order to support their productive re-entry back into society. Check out this recent Chestnut Hill Local news article (which also references PCF). Some of the equipment that is donated to PCF  does not work plus sometimes our machines simply stop working [...]

March 9th, 2016|Categories: PCF News, Sponsors|

Houston Library Computers

PCF has had the fortune of working with Henry H. Houston Elementary school quite a bit in the past. They were our second Classroom Computers program installation plus we have helped them with iPads, the installation of a security system and, most recently, we outfitted their library with five computers. PCF encourages schools to set up our computers into areas that can be accessed by students and their families. Besides being a school resource, the [...]

Computers to AB Day in Mt. Airy

PCF Board member Greg Bermon and Jan Deruiter installed approximately 20 computers at A.B. Day Elementary School in East Mt. Airy. Greg took a vacation day from his work to assist Jan with the installation. Like many of the other schools, some classrooms posed some challenges (in terms of finding power and/or getting Ethernet to work) but in the end we prevailed. Getting everything set up requires some creativity. We often have to scrounge for [...]

February 17th, 2016|Categories: Classroom Computers|Tags: |

Computer Pickup at Health Partners Plans

PCF has been truly fortunate with the support we've received, and continue to receive, from Health Partners Plans. They have supported us financially with generous annual donations plus most of the 2,000 machines PCF has received over the years have come from HPP network hospitals such as Aria Health, Einstein Medical Center, Hahnemann University Hospital, Temple and others. On a cold day in January, HPP supplied PCF with an additional 50 computers, monitors and supplies [...]

January 20th, 2016|Categories: Corporate Donation, PCF News, Sponsors|

Book Delivery to ET Steel

Today we delivered 30-35 boxes of books to ET Steel School in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia. Most of the books were donated to PCF by the American Association of Law Libraries and the Radnor School District. But a couple of the boxes came from a caring individual who leaves her Wells Fargo account manager mostly sports-related books that she picks up at flea markets and yard sales! We were met at the school by Principal Mr. Jamal Dennis and a [...]

January 15th, 2016|Categories: Library Support|Tags: , |

Financial Support from The Hibbert Group

PCF was thrilled to receive support from The Hibbert Group. We received a check for $250 from the company and a personal check for $250 from the CEO Timothy Moonan which will be used to support our Classroom Computers program. http://hibbertgroup.com/ We could not do our work without the financial support from corporations, organizations, and individuals. Please consider making a donation or plan to volunteer today!

December 1st, 2015|Categories: Sponsors|

Radnor Township Schools Book Donation

Ithan Elementary donated 19 boxes filled with children's books to be distributed to Philadelphia public schools. Earlier this summer, the district donated a trove of laptops and overhead projectors that were wiped and refurbished over the summer and which will be distributed to schools this fall. We want to thank the Maureen, Joan, and Stephanie at the Radnor Township School District and Ithan Elementary for their support!

November 26th, 2015|Categories: Library Support, Sponsors|Tags: |

Chikara Donates 80 Event Tickets to Public Schools

CHIKARA has generously donated 80 tickets for PCF to distribute to 4 public schools in the Northwest. The event looks like a lot of fun and PCF has chosen Emlen, Houston, Jenks, and Henry schools to choose how they wish to distribute the tickets to students and their families. Saturday, December 5th, 2015 Doors open at 6 pm; first match at 7:00 pm CHIKARA @ The 2300 Arena 2300 S. Swanson St., Philadelphia, PA 19148  Google maps (the [...]

November 24th, 2015|Categories: Corporate Donation, PCF News|

$1,000 Community Partner Grant from Wells Fargo

On Monday November 9, 2015, PCF received an unrestricted operating grant for $1,000 from Wells Fargo. The ceremony was held near King of Prussia and the photo above shows PCF's director Jan Deruiter accepting the award. The money will be used to purchase supplies for refurbishing computers as well as to cover operating expenses. PCF has been fortunate to have received annual support from Wells Fargo. This is our 7th such grant and we would like [...]

November 12th, 2015|Categories: PCF News, Sponsors|Tags: |

PCF Receives Support from Univest Bank and Trust Co.

PCF is thrilled to receive support from Univest Bank and Trust Co. Last week, PCF picked up 25 powerful Dell computers that had been partially refurbished already (the drives were wiped clean and all are in working order). And before the weekend was over, we received an email that they would have even more computers for us next week! PCF supporters in the Northwest and South Philadelphia may be aware of Univest as they recently purchased Valley Green [...]

October 1st, 2015|Categories: Sponsors|Tags: , |

Publicly Accessible Computers & Printers Inside Schools

One of the things we observed from installing computers into the homes of families was the absence of working printers. We learned that depending on the school, most students do not have a computer at home.* And amongst those that do, working printers are a rarity. We assume this to be true because printers can be difficult to connect and replacing toner can be expensive. But whatever the cause, the reality is that working printers at home are far and few between. [...]

September 27th, 2015|Categories: Publicly Accessible Mini-Labs|Tags: |

Support PCF by Shopping at Amazon

Now you can support kids while you shop!  PCF is now accepting charitable donations through the AmazonSmile Foundation. We are pleased to announced that PCF is now officially listed as a partner charity through the AmazonSmile Foundation.  This means that Amazon will donate a percentage of any purchase made from https://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-5356792 directly to the Philadelphia Children's Foundation. Shopping on AmazonSmile is simple, and making sure your donation goes directly to PCF is even easier. You use [...]

September 17th, 2015|Categories: PCF News, Sponsors|

Radnor School District Equipment Donation

The Radnor Township School District donated a truck full of laptops and a few overhead projectors to PCF during the summer!  The equipment was picked up from 4 different Radnor District schools. What was great about their donation is that the laptops were all in working order and accompanied by power supplies. And few things get teachers more excited than an overhead projector with a working bulb! These can be used to project a teacher's computer onto a [...]

August 25th, 2015|Categories: Sponsors|Tags: |

Books and Financial Support from A.A.L.L.

PCF was thrilled to receive a car-load of childrens' books along with a very generous donation of $1,225 from the members of the American Association of Law Libraries! The books were collected by AALL members and picked up here in Philadelphia. PCF will be donating the books to a Philadelphia public school after we have sorted and coded them. It looks like we will be sending them to Edward T. Steel School in North Philadelphia. We [...]

August 15th, 2015|Categories: Library Support, Sponsors|Tags: |

33 Philly Public Schools Need Your Help

PCF was invited to attend the District's Partnerships Resource Fair during school break. Since we had not advertised our renewed focus on supporting schools, we did not expect the huge interest in our Programs. In the span of two hours, 33 schools filled out an application to receive support for classroom computers, library support, and technology teaching. View the full list of schools and a map here. The Fair was held during lunch on the final day of [...]

Equipment Donation by PMHCC

PCF would like to thank PMHCC (The Philadelphia Mental Health Care Corporation) for their generous donation of computers, monitors, keyboards, mice and cabling. The equipment was picked up by our recycler (hard drive shredder, recycler, and parts supplier). After they process the equipment, it will make its way to PCF's warehouse where ITT Technical Institute students and other volunteers will get it ready for distribution to Philadelphia public schools.

July 30th, 2015|Categories: Sponsors|

HeathShare Exchange Volunteer Day & Sponsorship

Board member Hal Augustine organized and facilitated a volunteer day with HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern PA. A team of HSX employees showed up and spent almost a full day doing the spectrum of volunteering: computer rehab, cable sorting, book coding and monitor testing. We got a ton of work done. The computers processed that day ended up at Houston Elementary in Mt Airy a month later and most of the books went to Emlen's new library. And [...]

200 iPads to 8 Public Schools

Just before summer break, Endo Pharmaceuticals contacted PCF about a donation of 200 used iPads. They came without chargers/cables but those were easy enough to get. 200 iPads was huge and we knew we'd make some teachers (and their students) very happy campers. We worked closely with the Philadelphia School District to identify the schools and teachers that would utilize them the most but at the same time, would be able to secure them and support them over time. [...]

June 27th, 2015|Categories: Classroom Computers|

Computer Literacy and 3D Classes

After Emlen Elementary received their new computer lab at the beginning of the 2015 school year, PCF jumped on the opportunity to teach technology classes there. About a dozen 5th graders were selected by their teachers and allowed to attend the weekly 2.5 hr class for the remainder of the school year. A donor had given PCF an old, first generation but durable 3D printer which we thought would be the perfect gimmick to get kids interested [...]

June 13th, 2015|Categories: Technology Classes|Tags: , |

200 Used iPads Donated by Endo Pharmaceuticals

PCF was incredibly fortunate to receive about 200 used iPads from Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc (Malvern, PA) earlier in 2015. iPads are treasured in schools because of their versatility and other factors. After PCF purchased power chargers and cables, we contacted the school district for help on how to best distribute them to Philadelphia schools. With their help, we found 8 public schools that were delighted to receive them. For details, please see another post. Thank you [...]

May 28th, 2015|Categories: Corporate Donation, Sponsors|

PCF Supports S.T.E.M. Classes at J.S. Jenks

PCF became aware of the exciting changes taking place at J.S. Jenks Elementary through the Mt. Airy Schools Coalition. Abby Thaker from Mt Airy USA suggested we get in touch with Jenks to offer technology support. During our meeting with principal Lynskey, it became evident that this was the perfect place for PCF to help with 3D Printing Classes. Twice a week for a few months, PCF helped teach the 2-hour class in their computer lab until Jenks got their [...]

Emlen Library Opening

When PCF heard that Emlen Elementary was converting an unused, junk-filled classroom into a library, we got very excited and offered to help. The completion of this project was a huge undertaking and involved a lot of individuals, private donations, school personnel, private schools and organizations including PCF. The opening ceremony was very touching with kids speaking as well as the family of Elbridge G. James, to whom the Learning Center and Library is dedicated. Throughout the year, we helped [...]

May 20th, 2015|Categories: Library Support|Tags: |

Houston Elementary Classroom Computers

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 [...]

Woodforest National Bank Volunteer Day

PCF Board member Leona Laibhen-Cesar (standing) along with fellow Woodforest National Bank employees came in to volunteer for the better part of the day. They worked their way through a TON of books that eventually made their way to Emlen Elementary's new library. Each book was looked up on the web and then color coded according to the 100 Book Reading Challenge. This color coding method is much more practical since kids can just look for the color that matches [...]

May 7th, 2015|Categories: Library Support, Volunteering|Tags: |

Comcast Cares Day

Comcast Cares Day 2015 was the first volunteer event at the warehouse on Ridge Avenue (after we moved there from Chestnut Hill offices). Comcast has provided great support to PCF over the years and this day certainly was no different. About 20-some-odd volunteers split into several groups to sort/code books, clean computers, install hard drives and memory, installing Linux, and untangling and sorting boxes (and boxes!) of wires, mice, keyboards and so on. A special thanks to Michele Monte, [...]

April 25th, 2015|Categories: Sponsors, Volunteering|

PCF in The Notebook: Out with the old? Not so fast

PCF was featured in an article in The Notebook, Philadelphia public schools' independent voice for parents, educators, students, and friends of Philadelphia Public Schools. In the article, PCF Director and Principal Thomas from Emlen were interviewed about the beginnings of what became PCF's Classroom Computers Program. Out with the old? Not so fast District schools like Emlen and Robeson are taking donated technology and making it work in classrooms By Paul Jablow on Mar 24, 2015 Jan Deruiter [...]

March 24th, 2015|Categories: Classroom Computers, PCF News|Tags: |

Classroom Computers Program Pilot at Emlen

PCF placed roughly 60 computers into various classroom at Emlen at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. Due to the success of our pilot program there, PCF received official permission from the Philadelphia Public School District's IT department to roll out our Classroom Computers program to other schools. After our successful pilot program, we are now officially allowed to work with other schools directly! We learned a lot from working with Emlen: the value these computers represent to [...]

September 4th, 2014|Categories: Classroom Computers|Tags: |

Turn & Burn Regatta

The Annual Turn & Burn Regatta is held each fall, usually the first or second Sunday in November on the Schuylkill River/Kelly Drive in Philadelphia, PA. Join us and help make sure every Philadelphia child has access to a computer. Organized by The Philadelphia Children’s Foundation, the Turn & Burn Regatta is comprised of a “Turn” (a 1,500 meter stake boat turning race), and immediately after… a “Burn (a 500 meter sprint), featuring masters, college, and high school/junior events. PCF Founder [...]

August 17th, 2014|Categories: PCF News|

PCF Partner Spotlight: Health Partners Plans

Health Partners Plans is a long-standing, not-for-profit health insurance organization serving more than 180,000 area members through its Medicaid and Medicare coverage and also many children through its KidzPartners/CHIP program. In fact, about half of their members are children. HPP CIO Hal Augustine configures software for newly rehabbed computers on their way to Philadelphia children. The Plan is owned by major Philadelphia area hospitals including Aria, Einstein, Hahnemann, Temple and St. Christopher's Hospital [...]

July 25th, 2014|Categories: PCF News, Sponsors|

Study Shows Third Grade Reading Level Predicts High School Graduation

We all know that a student’s experience early on in school can have major implications for their future academic career. Numerous longitudinal studies have demonstrated how warning signs for future academic issues manifest themselves earlier and earlier in a child’s schooling. Simply put, without a dramatic reversal of the status quo, we are cementing educational failure and poverty into the next generation. A 2013 study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation added another significant finding [...]

July 15th, 2014|Categories: In the News|