The Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) and Computers 2 San Diego Kids (C2SDK) have partnered to provide computers to underserved families at Foothill Oak Elementary School in the Vista Unified School District. We are happy to report that we have been able to provide 170 computers to children and their families as part of this partnership. We have a letter from the principal of Foothill Oak Elementary that we would like to share with you.
Principal, Erin English, Ed. D. wrote to us about the tremendous blessing these computers have been to her students. We would like to share the letter and some pictures with you.
Dear Classroom of the Future [Foundation],
Last October Dr. Bruce Braciszewski introduced me to Cheri Pierre, and Computers 2 San Diego Kids (C2SDK). Computers 2 San Diego Kids has a comprehensive technology assistance plan that refurbishes and recycles computers then puts them in the hands of families in need.
I met with Cheri and she and I set a goal to get a refurbished computer into the hands of every Foothill Oak Elementary School (FHO) family who currently did not have a computer. Foothill Oak Elementary School, where I am the principal, has a poverty rate of 94% and over 80% of our families did not have a working computer at home (based on a survey of our families conducted in the beginning of the year).
In March of 2013 we saw our goal become a reality. On March 6 the C2SDK delivered 170 computers to the parents of our students. During the month prior to the delivery, my office staff collected names of the families who qualified for the computers and who agreed to pay the very minimal cost of $65.00 for a refurbished, fully loaded, computer with a flat screen monitor. On distribution day, parents lined up to fill out the paperwork and used their car, wagon, or stroller to take their computers home.
Personally speaking, I have never seen anything like this before. We all know that there is such a disparity between technology access of children who come from affluent homes and those who come from low income homes. We all know this, however not a lot is done to equalize this disparity. Cheri Pierre and Computers 2 San Diego Kids are doing something to change things.
We all know the benefits of having a computer in the home. One hundred and seventy families at our school will now be able to look for jobs, fill out job applications, watch movies, learn English, and look up health related issues. Even more importantly, their children, our students, will have access to a broad range of educational activities that will enhance their college and career opportunities.
The computer distribution day was unbelievably exciting. Our parents and the family members they brought with them to pick up the computers were beaming. One young mother told me she was excited because now her children could have a future.
Even though we distributed over 170 computers that day, and each family who purchased a computer was a celebration of overcoming all odds, the most heartwarming part of this story was about Angel. Angel is a fifth grade boy who is a second language learner from a very impoverished family. In October of 2012, when I first announced to our students that we were going to sell low-cost computers to our families, Angel set his mind on getting one.
Angel came to my office every day to tell me what he would do if he got a computer. He told me he would learn to read better and help his parents learn to speak and read English. He also said he would learn how to do research. Angel came to my office every day after school to see if we were on track to bringing this opportunity to our families. He also helped me to meet my deadlines in getting the information out to parents and back to C2SDK. When I found out that Angel’s parents did not have enough money to pay for a computer, I spoke with Cheri about the possibility of the company donating a compute to this special boy. Even though there were 170 computers sold that day, Angel will be the face I see when I think back on the day that Cheri gave him one of the computers. He was very polite and solemn when she handed the computer to him. In fact, you would have never guessed that this boy had been in my office five times the day before to see if the computers were being delivered. The day of the delivery he wore his best soccer uniform. In reflection, I think he was so solemn because I believe he thought we were going to ask him to pay for the computer or that we were going to change our minds. The next day his parents, who are Hispanic and do not speak English, set up a meeting with me to formally thank me. The mother asked me why we picked her son, of all the other students, to give a free computer to. I told her it was because he helped me remember and because there was something very special about him. I told her I believed in him and knew he would reach his goals. She started crying and told me that when their family moved from their last school, when Angel was in third grade, Angel’s third grade teacher said the same thing about him to her. She said she did not know what made her son special in our eyes, but she was going to do all she could to help him succeed in life. She wanted me to thank the company and all of the people who volunteered to bring C2SDK to our school.
With that, I want to thank Classrooms of the Future and Computers 2 San Diego Kids for helping to change the lives of the families of Foothill Oak Elementary School.
Erin English, Ed. D.
Foothill Oak Elementary School
Vista Unified School District