Monday, June 02, 2003
20,000 refurbished computers in Nova Scotia schools equals better access and more opportunities for students
DARTMOUTH, NS, June 2 /CNW/ - Senator Jane Cordy, on behalf of Allan Rock, Minister of Industry, today congratulated Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia on the delivery of its 20,000th computer. The milestone was celebrated at a special event held at Shannon Park Elementary School in Dartmouth. "There are many local success stories behind this important milestone," said Senator Cordy. "For Shannon Park Elementary, it means a fully equipped computer lab, enabling students to develop crucial technical skills they can
use throughout their lives. The program's success would not have been possible without the outstanding contributions of private, public and voluntary sector partners."
"Computers for Schools is an example of what governments, businesses and individual Canadians can accomplish when they work together to give children and young people improved access to technology," said Minister Rock. "The dedication and commitment of local partners and supporters have provided the young people of this great province with unprecedented opportunities for learning and skills development." At the celebration, Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia recognized the support of its longstanding partners.
Microsoft Canada was recognized for its ongoing donations of all the operating system software. The Nova Scotia Department of Education was honoured for supporting the operations of five technology recycling workshops, where donated computers are cleaned,refurbished and shipped to local public schools and libraries. Through funding rovided by the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, these workshops also provide short-term employment for young information technology graduates, helping them gain valuable experience as they make the transition from school to full-time work.
"Our government is very happy to see this milestone reached by the Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia program," said Angus MacIsaac, Nova Scotia Minister of Education. "The program is a significant part of our Learning For Life plan and helps us to reach our goal of one computer for every five students in Nova Scotia schools."
The program also recognized Aliant, a founding partner of the Computer for Schools program. From donating computers and providing a van for pickups and deliveries of equipment, to encouraging employees to volunteer in computer refurbishing depots, the company's support has strengthened all aspects of the program.
"We are proud of our 10-year involvement in the Computers for Schools program," said Jay Forbes, Aliant President and Chief Executive Officer. "Aliant, in conjunction with our 8000 Aliant Pioneer volunteers, is pleased to be playing such an important role in offering technology to children and schools in our region. For the past nine years, our Pioneers have contributed thousands of volunteer hours refurbishing computers, including many of the 20,000 computers that were placed in classrooms around Nova Scotia, further exemplifying our commitment to Atlantic Canada and to the communities in which we live and work."
Joining Senator Cordy for the speeches and awards ceremony were Nova Scotia Natural Resources Minister Tim Olive, and Aliant Senior Vice-President Wendy Paquette. To close the event, Senator Cordy presented 10 refurbished computers to Shannon Park Elementary School.
Industry Canada's Computers for Schools program collects and refurbishes donated surplus computers and equipment from governments and businesses, and distributes them to schools and libraries across Canada free of charge. The Government of Canada leads this project in partnership with the Telephone Pioneers, the largest industry-related volunteer organization in the world.
Computers for Schools operates in cooperation with all provinces and territories, the private sector and thousands of volunteers.
For the name of a school near you that has benefited from the provincial Computers for Schools program, contact Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia at (902) 424-3596 or visit the Web site at http://trp.ednet.ns.ca.
Computers for Schools - Delivery of 20,000th Computer in Nova Scotia
Significance of the Milestone
Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia delivered its 20,000th computer on May 1, 2003. This milestone translates into thousands of success stories. From helping schools gain access to the latest technology to providing young people with unprecedented learning opportunities, the program helps put innovative tools into the hands of young people, including those who might not otherwise have access to technology.
One of the program's award-winning initiatives involves assisting the Halifax Innercity Initiative in gaining access to information technology. As part of a three-year project being funded by Human Resources Development Canada, this initiative enables Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia to expand its reach to include communities lacking computer resources, as well as schools and libraries.
In partnership with GPI Atlantic, the Innercity Initiative organization and the local Chebucto Community Net, Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia is donating computers to help these groups provide training and educational upgrading to increase peoples' employability skills and the general well-being of the community.
This project is just one of the ways the program is expanding its reach to include community groups not well represented on the Internet, as well as schools and libraries.
Contributions of Partners, Supporters and Volunteers
This milestone achievement was made possible through the generous contributions of the program's private, public and voluntary sector partners, whose support is crucial to the program's success.
These partners, some of whom were recognized at the milestone celebration, help in many ways - by donating surplus computers and equipment, providing software, helping deliver computers, volunteering time at the recycling workshops and offering warehouse space.
Leading the Way - Public-Private Partners
When Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia began more than nine years ago, it looked to a unique private-public partnership to ensure a steady supply of refurbished computers to Nova Scotia schools. Today, Computers for Schools- Nova Scotia, also known as the Technology Recycling Program, is recognized across the country for its innovativeness. Combining the strengths of the Nova Scotia Department of Education, Industry Canada, NovaKnowledge and the Aliant Pioneer volunteers, Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia is able to operate five technology recycling workshops, where computers are cleaned, refurbished, and prepared for delivery to schools and other related organizations.
With funding from the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, these workshops, which are staffed by volunteers, also provide young information technology graduates with their first on-the-job experience repairing computers. The hands-on experience gained helps the graduates in their search for full-time work.
Microsoft Canada, another long-term supporter of Computers for Schools- Nova Scotia, also contributes to the success of the Technology Recycling Program by donating all the operating system software.
Find Out More About the Program
For information on the program, please contact Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia at (902) 424-3596 or visit the Web site at http://trp.ednet.ns.ca
For further information: Selena Beattie, Office of Allan Rock, Minister of Industry, (613) 995-9001; Media Relations, Industry Canada, (613) 943-2502; Stacy Barnes, Computers for Schools-Nova Scotia, (902) 424-3596; Andy Paterson, Nova Scotia Department of Education, (902) 424-3150