Massachusetts Department of Correction donates Computers for Schools
Roosevelt Elementary School in Worcester receives 300 computers
Worcester School Superintendent Dr. James A. Caradonio and Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Mary Meade-Montaque as well as over 300 fourth-sixth grade students attended the presentation.
"For us today to receive 300 computers makes us technologically whole. It's important to prepare students for the 21 st century. This contribution from another state agency helps us achieve our mission," said Superintendent Dr. James A. Caradonio.
"My students are mathematicians, poets, writers, artists. These computers will help them perform better," added Principal Mary Meade-Montaque. The students at the presentation gave a very hearty thank you as well.
In addition to providing a much needed resource to the community, the Computers for Schools Program supports the DOC's Reentry Initiative by giving inmates skills they can use when they are released and return home.
"This is a great opportunity for the schools, the students and the Department of Correction," said DOC Commissioner Kathleen M. Dennehy. "With 97% of offenders coming home on any given day, our job is to provide opportunities for offenders to change their behavior, and make communities safer. In addition, inmates who work on these computers are obtaining marketable skills that they can use when they return to the community. They are given the opportunity to do something positive for themselves and the community."
With this donation, the DOC Computers for Schools Program has given approximately 3,610 computers to classrooms throughout the Commonwealth since the program began in 1997 . At an estimated cost of $200-$250 for a refurbished computer, this program has saved school districts between $722,000 to $902,500. The restorations involve the conversion of a computer that is a Pentium 3 or faster as well as the installation of a CD-ROM drive and sound cards. DOC provides the CPU, monitor, keyboard and mouse.
The DOC receives computers donated by large corporations and businesses, and received its largest donation when the Massachusetts Trial Court donated 1,200 computers when it upgraded its system. Schools are selected through an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Education. Currently schools are chosen for donation by comparing the number of computers per student . Under the program, computers must be used directly by students, and not for administrative offices or other functions.
The DOC Computers for Schools Program is modeled after the Detwiler Foundation's original program in California, which is now operating in Chicago, Illinois, by a nonprofit organization. In May 1998, the first of the computers were refurbished by inmates, with more than two dozen inmates participating in the program.
The DOC Computers for Schools Program received the Department's Beyond Excellence Vision Award in 1998 and a national "The Best in the Business Award" in 1999 from Corrections Today Magazine.