Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 2:05 pm | Fair 76º

 
 
 
 

Carpinteria ‘Computers for Families’ Giveaway Helps Close Digital Divide Among Local Students

Students from three Carpinteria schools came away from the event with refurbished computers and internet training

More than 80 Carpinteria and Summerland elementary school students and their families came out to Carpinteria Middle School for Partners in Education’s distribution of refurbished computers. Click to view larger
More than 80 Carpinteria and Summerland elementary school students and their families came out to Carpinteria Middle School for Partners in Education’s distribution of refurbished computers.   (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

More than 80 elementary school students and their families came away with free computers Thursday evening after the Partners in Education’s Computers for Families event rolled through Carpinteria Middle School.

The organization, which brings individuals, businesses, foundations and government together to help students prepare for their futures, distributed refurbished computers and offered equipment and internet instruction to students and families from Summerland Elementary School and Carpinteria’s Canalino and Aliso elementary schools.

“The overall goal of the program is to close the digital divide and remove barriers that prevent student success,” said Chelsea Duffy, Partners in Education’s executive director.

“More and more, students are needing this technology in the home to succeed in school and just be on the same playing field as their peers.”

A wide array of individuals and businesses donated their old computers, which not only allows the students to catch up to their peers technologically, Duffy said, but keeps the e-waste out of a landfill.

Members of the Los Prietos Boys Camp, a high school and detention center in the Los Padres National Forest, did the bulk of the refurbishment and helped hand out the desktop computers.

“The boys at the camp have the opportunity to work with a teacher and learn how to refurbish the computers,” Duffy said. “They’re getting viable job skills, things they can put on their resumes.”

Schools identify which of their pupils would benefit from the Computers for Families event, and families receive basic training for the computers’ software, followed by a quick crash course on online safety.

Dozens of old desktop computers were donated and refurbished for Partners in Education’s Computers for Families event in Carpinteria. Click to view larger
Dozens of old desktop computers were donated and refurbished for Partners in Education’s Computers for Families event in Carpinteria. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Cox Communications had a booth set up in Carpinteria Middle School’s gym for families to sign up for discounted internet services through its Connect2Compete program.

The two-decade-old Computers for Families program holds up to 20 distribution events each year from Goleta to Carpinteria, and Thursday’s was one of the biggest yet.

Each year, Duffy said, 500 to 600 computers are given away.

One of Partners in Education’s goals is to expand the number and scope of post-distribution parent trainings that offer more extensive one-on-one guidance.  

“For some families, it’s their first experience with a computer,” she said.

The organization is always looking for new volunteers and computer donations, she added, to meet the demands of the program and the needs of those who utilize it.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Local students and families receive basic computer, software and internet training at Carpinteria Middle School. Click to view larger
Local students and families receive basic computer, software and internet training at Carpinteria Middle School. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.