This news report was provided by Rotary Club AM of Hamilton.
For the fifth time, a number of graduating Grade 8 students from Hess Street School, a Hamilton “inner city school,” will now have computers to take home to help prepare them for the challenges of High School. Computers have become a necessity to complete school work at the High School and Post Secondary level. Many students at Hess Street School are new Canadians and some families don’t have the resources to provide home computers. On May 16, the Rotary Club of Hamilton AM and its partners in this project presented 20 refurbished computers to Hess Street School students.
The Rotary Club of Hamilton AM provides a Christmas breakfast to the entire school each year and wanted to find other ways where members could support the students and staff. This led club Past-President, Mark Ewer to initiate the “Rotary Right Click Project” and he started searching for retired business and personal computers that could be refurbished and supplied to students that couldn’t afford one. “We all know that there are thousands of computers each year that come off business leases or otherwise get replaced,” Ewer says. “I was hoping we could breathe new life into some of these machines and at the same time, support students who could benefit from them. Once again, Hamilton organizations stepped up to the plate and in a short period of time 20 refurbished laptop computers were put together.”
Key to this project was identifying surplus computers and this year greenBYTE, through its donation program, sourced 20 laptops for the project. Teachers at Hess Street School were able to identify 20 students who would benefit from the program. It is common knowledge that there are many challenges faced by new Canadians, many of which live in the Hess Street School catchment area. Adjustment to a new country can be especially difficult for children facing a new school and a language they are unfamiliar with. In this day and age, computers are no longer a luxury in Ontario schools but they can be beyond the financial means of such families.
The Rotary Club of Hamilton AM would like to pay special tribute to greenBYTE, a Hamilton program of the St. Leonard’s Society that specializes in refurbishing and selling used computers. greenBYTE cleaned and repaired all the machines as required and loaded Windows and Microsoft Office software on all the units. The funds required to pay for licensing and repair came from the Rotary Club of Hamilton AM Community Services budget.
Mark Ewer explains “Because the computers were donated and license costs were modest thanks to greenBYTE, we were able to make these computers available at minimal cost. We just needed to identify students that could best use this refurbished equipment. That’s where Hess Street School staff came in! This was the right project for the right school and the right partners so we have named it the “Rotary Right Click Project.”