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About the Computer Redeployment Program 204

The Computer Redeployment Program provides computers to kids who cannot afford one at home, and helps students learn about technology. Every year, like many businesses, the school district retires a number of computers and replaces them with new computers, and the older computers are removed from use. Rather than send this immensely valuable resource to the trash heap, the CRP204 program uses these computers as an opportunity to train students in technology, team, leadership skills, and produces usable computers that are given back to kids in need. In fact, these are computers the kids just used in school a month before, and they are now able to take them home. Today, even elementary school (k-5) students are learning computer skills such as Powerpoint, 6th graders need the new Digits math program to meet Common Core standards, and need to keep up with their classmates. By the time they reach high school, not having a computer at home is a significant disadvantage.

Working with a team of student volunteers, we clean each computer and reload the original Windows operating system that came with the computer. We also load OpenOffice software, which is a free program that is compatible with Microsoft Office. Some computers arrive broken, with broken keyboards, bad screens, bad hard drives, or other problems. We take these computers apart and use the parts to repair other computers. Only the computers that are not cost-effective to repair are recycled.

Funding is provided by the Indian Prairie Education Foundation, and typically it costs less than a cup of Starbucks coffee to repurpose each computer so that it is usable by students.

 

 

2016 - Fifteen Student Volunteers work on 374 laptop computers so that they are ready for kids as soon as school starts. This year the computers went to 13 elementary and 3 high schools in District 204. Over 400 service hours were provided by the team.

 

2014: Some of our 27 volunteers work on cleaning 561 laptop computers. Over 500 service hours were provided by the team.


2012-2013 Computers


2010-2012 Computers

 

As you can see from the volunteers in the middle of the warehouse, just the monitors make a huge pile! The 2009-2010 program gave us quite a bit of the older style CRT monitors but we received 17" to 19" LCD displays for our 2012 program.

These are the computers from our 2009-2010 project years. Cardboard was used to cover the just-cleaned monitors to keep them clean before they are given back to the students. Each of the stacks of PC's on a pallet is destined for a specific middle school or high school. School Principals talk with students and parents to determine who needs computers each year, and then make requests for that number of PC's for their students. The PC's are delivered directly to the schools thanks to the generous help of Prager Moving and Storage where the kids and parents can pick up their new computer.

A pile of keyboards and mice to go with the computers! It's a challenge just to stack these so they don't fall over while we are sorting them to go back to the various middle and high schools.


2012 Volunteers ranged in age from 8 and up, with Scott Kwok (age 8) and Taylor Kwok (age 10) as our youngest volunteers.


2010 Volunteers with an assist from the crp203 Team leaders Devin Stompanato, far right, and Dan Laubsted, third from right in green in back row.

In the photo on the upper right is our 2010 Student Volunteer team with Jason Altenbern, 204 Community Relations Director, at left. We get our volunteers from a number of sources, local high schools, churches, and boy scouts. Over the course of an intensive 3-5 day project, the team cleans and reloads hundreds of computers. In exchange for their volunteer service, each student is given lunch each day, a computer to take home, and service credits for their various organizations.

Many of the computers have been in use for several years, and need to be cleaned before use. Here students are blowing the dust out of the systems with an air compressor. Cleaning out the dust helps them run cooler and extends the lifespan of the computers.

Volunteers are masked and do the air cleaning outside near the door to keep the dust away from the main work areas, and for health reasons. Watch the video to see how much dust flies out!

The LCD/CRT displays are also cleaned so that the kids who receive them get the systems in good condition. The CRTS were tested after cleaning to make sure they were working properly.

Here, a team leader checks the core server which holds the software that is being reloaded onto the computers. A special technique called software imaging was used to rapidly replicate software to each computer so that each computer only took about 15-20 minutes to reload. Doing them one by one would take 3 to 4 hours a PC otherwise!

Team members work on the computers and load multiple computers at the same time with Windows and application software that provides word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications for students. We use OpenOffice, which has Microsoft Compatible Word and Excel capabilities.


Student volunteers reload Windows onto donated computers. (2012)

 


CRP204 Project Leader Jason Altenbern checks in with Taylor Kwok & friend
as they count and organize keyboards (2012)

 

CRP204 Project Leaders

Sun Kwok, Integral Corporation
Jason Altenbern, Community Relations Coordinator, Indian Prairie School District 204