EUGENE, Ore. (KTMR) – A school that just moved locations received like-new technology to start their school year off right.
Network Charter School, a free public charter school, serves students who don’t learn as well as they could in the public system. While NCS uses traditional ways in education, their classroom ratios of 15:1 are said to make a difference. The more intimate and hands-on way of education helps the students get individualized attention and a more personable understanding of things.
But, just because they have fewer students serve doesn’t mean they have more money to use. In fact, the school had been using big, chunky computers without a network in the building.
That has all changed.
Next Step Recycling heard about NCS’ move and technology wish list on Facebook. They offered to help.
A week later, 30 computers, four printers and a phone system later, NCS is ready for open house with a whole new technology lab that they didn't
have to pay thousands of dollars for.
"Our kids are not kids who have access to computers at home by at large. So what we teach them at school about how to use computers is important,” said Mary Leighton, Executive Director at Network Charter School.
For the students who are grades 7-12, technology is a key part in their education. A large chunk of NCS' yearly budget, however, helped them move into their campus location. That meant there was no money left for computer lab improvement.
“If we say go learn something about Somalia, and we want them to bring back something they really thought was cool, they can bring back 57 things about Somalia,” Leighton said.
Next Step Recycling said schools from all over are asking for their help lately. Some are not able to afford new televisions, computers and more meaning they have to rely on hand-me-downs or “like-new” items that Next Step can offer.
"We've been working hard to bridge the digital divide and what that means is there are those that have technology and those who don't. This school was a perfect match to our mission so we wanted to make sure these kids had the same educational opportunity as other schools in our community,” Lorraine Kerwood, Next Step Recycling, said.
Kerwood added, however, that it takes major community recycling in order to mine pieces and give back. For every three computers, one “like-new” can be produced.
Next Step Recycling takes all kinds of donations including old phones, computers, scanners, printers, IPods and more.
For more information about Next Step Recycling, click here.
The Network Charter School’s website can be found here.