Students from a Delaware County high school club are using 40 refurbished laptop computers to make a connection with children at four elementary schools in West Philadelphia.
Four members of the Radnor High School MAR (Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers) on Wednesday delivered the computers to Lewis C. Cassidy Academics Plus School at 65th Street and Lansdowne Avenue to the delight of a handful of students in the school's library. The computers had been used at Radnor Middle and were being discarded, said Brian Garber, 18, a junior and founder of the 10-member chapter of the Radnor High School MAR.
The club reached out to the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching elementary and middle school students in West Philadelphia. Garber said he heard about the alliance at his church and knew that WePAC had reopened shuttered libraries at the five schools over the last year.
David Florig, executive director of WePAC, said he was contracted recently by an official from Radnor High who said the school had 40 computers to donate to children.
"We said in the libraries that WePAC is running, most of them did not have technology in their libraries," said Florig. "We thought they would make a wonderful asset for the kids to help with their literacy and learning."
Florig said his organization reopened libraries at Martha Washington Academic Plus School, Samuel Daroff School, Rudolph Blankenburg School and Samuel Gompers School, in addition to Lewis C. Cassidy. He said his group also provides tutors and after-school activities for the schools.
"We discovered they were doing some great work and we said they could benefit from some refurbished computers. So we said we found the right recipient," Garber said of WePAC.
Sitting next to Garber some elementary students in the library enthusiastically operated the computers.
One boy among about five students testing out the new computers said he was pleased with the laptops.
"I learned that you can record things with the computer and that you can do lots of other things," he said.