Recycling program provides home computers to dozens of Houston ISD first-grade students

HOUSTON

At Berry Elementary on the northeast side, class was in session Saturday.

"A great opportunity because my kids will develop the skills on the computers from four to five years old," parent Geraldo Ramirez said.

The teaching was for the whole family, learning how to use their new learning tools.

"It can help her with her homework, looking up things we don't know," parent Jennifer Taylor said.

Incoming Berry Elementary first graders who did not have a computer at home will now have keyboards, hard drives, monitors and mouses thanks to Technocycle -- an electronic recycling company that is providing refurbished computers to help motivate children in underserved areas.

All students and parents will receive initial training on computer basics before taking home their full computer system, equipped with Windows Student Office and the Windows 7 operating system.

"With education today, everything we do is on the computer. We looked at this as a partnership starting in first grade," Berry Elementary Principal Ali Oliver said.

Overall, 165 Houston ISD students from Berry Elementary and Sugar Grove Academy will have another aid to help them learn. The program targets first-grade students so they can use the computers for years to come.

"We can take this equipment with a lot of use left to it," Michael Buckles with Technocycle said. "Why throw it away when we can donate it and allow them to use it for a number of years longer?"

For the families who will benefit, the equipment is as good as new, and students didn't seem to mind being at school on a Saturday.

<"It's going to help me learn more, help me read and type," student Tristan Tanguma said.

TechnoCycle rolled out the program this month. Additionally this school year, parents will have the opportunity to attend free computer literacy and English classes at the school and through special online courses.

The students may also be eligible for an additional special program which offers reduced-cost internet service to low-income families who qualify.

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