Computers4Kids is a non-profit after-school technology mentoring program for youth. We strive to level the playing field by improving youth computer and learning skills through hands-on training, an open learning environment, and access to a computer at home. The program uses computers as a catalyst to challenge capable youngsters to become engaged in their own learning, hope for a better future, and realize greater possibilities academically, professionally, and for their community.
The primary program works to close the “digital divide” by providing youngsters with home PCs with which to equalize their educational opportunities. Students who are unable to purchase PC because of economic reasons often fall behind in assignments which require typing or internet based research, and attain lower passing grades. Worse yet, they have lower self-esteem and expectations towards moving on to higher education. Students enter the C4K program and spend a minimum of six hours learning how to repair computers by identifying and testing components, installing software, and mentoring their peers. By the end of the introductory program, students have a working computer to take home, and the knowledge and skills to satisfy the requirements for Practical & Applied Arts – Module 32A: Computer Recycling.
After the initial six hours, students may continue learning to troubleshoot and mentor newcomers. An additional ten hours satisfies the requirements for Practical & Applied Arts – Module 32B: Computer Recycling. The extended program enables students to refurbish higher-end machines for discounted sale to families in the community. The revenue collected goes back into supporting the program with a percentage going to the student. The idea is to expose students to technology, help them improve academically, enable them to see the value of their skill and time, and provide a feeling of empowerment and accomplishment.
Finally, millions of older computers are discarded each month. Unfortunately, some of these systems end up in landfills where they leach toxic chemicals into the soil. Others end up shelved and unused in warehouse spaces and basements as if their owners are waiting for them to come back in style. Many of these computers and their components still hold value and can be repurposed and redeployed to those in need. Damaged and obsolete equipment is properly recycled so that plastics, metals and glass are recovered rather than lost in landfills.