August 02, 2005

Computers available through Carbondale schools

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A multi-agency initiative designed to enhance computer literacy is under way in Carbondale.

The Carbondale Computer Rehabilitation Program will provide families enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program in the Carbondale Elementary School District with the opportunity to buy a refurbished computer system for $60. The systems will include a monitor, keyboard, printer and software. Senior citizens residing in north Carbondale also are eligible for the program.

Sponsors are the Community Outreach Partnership Center program, part of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development; Attucks Community Services, Inc.; the Carbondale Elementary School District; Jackson County Health Department; and Web Innovations Technologies of St. Louis. Attucks Community Services is administering the program.

Eligible families may register for the computer program during school registration, Aug. 9-10, noon to 6 p.m. at the Carbondale Middle School, 1150 E. Grand Ave. By signing up for the program, parents and seniors also then will participate in two one-hour sessions to introduce them to basic computer and Internet skills. Recipients also can sign up for free eight-week computer classes offered at Attucks Community Service's Computer Technology Center, located in the Eurma C. Hayes Center.

The Jackson County Health Department is providing a $1,750 grant to help defray the costs of the computer program. There are about 960 children in the elementary school district who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. The health department will present its check to Elizabeth Lewin, interim Carbondale elementary superintendent, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 11 a.m. at the middle school.

Eligible families and seniors residing in north Carbondale also may fill out an application for a computer at the Attucks Community Services, Inc. office, located in the Eurma C. Hayes Center, 441 E. Willow St. Business owners or individuals interested in donating their old computers may contact Kevin Clark, with the Community Outreach Partnership Center, at 549-0341.

Serving others is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the long-range development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.