Access to computers in schools can make THE difference for students
preparing for tomorrow’s workforce. With your help, we can put them in!
Improving Outcomes & Closing the Digital Divide:
Philadelphia Children’s Foundation supports Philadelphia public schools by installing internet-ready computers into classrooms and publicly accessible (H&SA) rooms within the school. We typically install up to three computers into classrooms of the schools we are able to support. They are part of the school’s network and usage is supervised and encouraged by teachers.
Our computers become an essential tool for teachers in assisting students that are falling behind, keep order in the classroom, and assist students in doing research. Teachers can direct students in need to spend time on educational websites that address students’ individual shortcomings. Some of the most frequently accessed websites include First-in-Math, Lexia (reading/writing), SumDog, ABCya, Class DoJo, and Kahn Academy.
Through access to some of the best educational websites, children increase their academic skills independently and teachers are able to track student use and progress.
How are our Computers Used in the Classroom?
With our classroom computers, Pre-K-to-3rd Grade students learn and review reading, writing, and math skills. Older students can do Internet research for their projects and access more specialized programs (graphics, Google Apps, etc.). Some specifics below:
According to the PA and the US Department of Education, The School District of Philadelphia experienced an outstanding 37.4 percentage-point increase in math scores since implementing the program in 2003. Details
FIM had the largest effects in Clusters 1-3 for 3rd graders. FIM seems particularly beneficial in facilitating 3rd graders understanding of basic number sense, operations, and algebraic relationships. FIM seems to be particularly effective for 5th grade students in reinforcing concepts that are introduced at Skill Set® levels 5-8, including estimation, percents, factors, algebra, and functions. For 6th grade students, FIM has the largest effect on statistics, data analysis, and probability. Details
- A Teacher’s Perspective: How First In Math Helps Teachers Foster a Culture of Success
- First In Math A ‘Best of Show’ Award Winner At 2015 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference
- Teachers Must Nurture Untapped Potential of Female Students
- How Teachers Can Get the Most Out of First In Math
Lexia stands as one of the most rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and respected reading programs in the world. In numerous studies published in peer-reviewed journals, Lexia Reading has been found to accelerate the development of critical fundamental literacy skills in elementary grades. Lexia Strategies has also been shown to be effective in remediating struggling readers in middle school. View Lexia Research Overview (PDF)
“By far the best results we have ever had”
“The results were amazing! 88% of the students got 70% or above. The class average was 86%!!”
“Children who went on Sumdog on a regular basis have made more progress than those who didn’t.”
ABCya.com is a teacher-created company that provides educational games and activities for kids in elementary grades. The website has over 175 activities, categorized by grade level and content area, and is completely free to use. Website
How is PCF able to support schools?
PCF receives thousands of corporate-donated computers, which we turn into fast Internet terminals for students. PCF volunteers clean, refurbish, and then install Linux on them (reduces support and makes them FAST) to get them ready. PCF then delivers and installs them into identified schools.
Donated computers are not quite “Free”!
The computers are “free” except:
- We have to pay to have them picked up
- In many cases the drives have to be physically destroyed
- Replacement drives and RAM need to be purchased
- Missing keyboards, mice and monitors need to be purchased
- And we pay to have broken donated equipment recycled responsibly
To support schools, we incur additional expenses including:
- Part-time installers (who work alongside students)
- Truck rental
- Printer & toner for H&SA room
- Networks switches
- Audio headsets
- Power strips for every class
- Patch cables (networking)
- Asset tags & Support Materials
- Plus there’s warehouse cost, insurance, and misc expenses
Your support is an investment in our future. Sponsor a computer, classroom or entire school today!
Quotes From Teachers:
Quotes from existing PCF Computers-For-Education recipients:
Kindergarten Teacher Kimberly T.: “12 students entered kindergarten lacking basic skills so they were registered on the LEXIA reading program. I would monitor my students’ LEXIA progress daily (admin tools). By the end of the year, ALL my students mastered the Pre-K skills they were lacking. And SIX students obtained their Kindergarten skills and moved on to 1st Grade by April/May 🙂”
5th Grade Teacher Chiron T.: “…the computers helped with math and reading scores on the PSSA.”
3rd Grade Teacher J. Jones: “Most of my struggling readers improved in fluency and basic decoding skills. Thank You So Much 🙂”
Read (many) more on our testimonials page.
Application Form for Schools
If you are a teacher or a school administrator, please fill out this Application Form.
Classroom Computers Program News:
Today we spent some time in Ms. Salter's classroom at Mifflin Elementary School in East Falls. She requested 10 laptops to use for Google Classroom assignments, typing practice, creating papers, and doing research for projects. [...]
PCF is delighted to implement our "Tech-Master" program (a.k.a. "It Support Team" or "Geek Squad" program) at Logan. Logan has utilized PCF's Classroom Computers for a few years now and the goal is to teach [...]
On Tuesday September 19, The Philadelphia Children's Foundation, Health Partners Plans, and the Health Partners Foundation presented The Laboratory Charter School with 60 refurbished Laptop Computers. The computers will be used by the teachers and [...]
When we contacted Steel about updating our classroom computers at their school, we learned that they needed some help in their computer lab. The first two rows of Macs needed to be hardwired. SDP had [...]
A King of Prussia based company, which prefers to stay anonymous, donated 10 additional iPads to PCF (they donated iPads int he past). Last year, many of the same firm's employees spent a day at [...]
The Radnor School District has been incredibly supportive of PCF over the years donating hundreds of laptops and hundreds (thousands?) of books. Their donations have helped all the schools we work with and have made [...]
PCF has been busy distributing and installing Laser Printers to schools and community centers in need. In many schools, teachers only have access to the printer in their school's main office, which means they have [...]
The Philadelphia Children's Foundation is looking to fill a part time position as soon as possible. Philadelphia Children’s Foundation Elementary School Technology Program Development and Instruction Position Description Background PCF is a non-profit organization of people [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]