Upgrades will help Wilkes-Barre students in after-school programs

Last updated: March 12. 2014 11:48PM - 3285 Views
By - jsylvester@civitasmedia.com

GAR Junior/Senior High School seventh-grader Promese Pendarvis talks about using the new computers at the McGlynn Learning Center at Boulevard Town Homes in Wilkes-Barre.
GAR Junior/Senior High School seventh-grader Promese Pendarvis talks about using the new computers at the McGlynn Learning Center at Boulevard Town Homes in Wilkes-Barre.
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WILKES-BARRE — King’s College student Timothy Mike noticed something when he began volunteering at the Mineral Springs Learning Center last fall — the computers used at the after-school program were old.

“They were pretty ancient,” said Mike, a junior computer information systems major from Shavertown.

“They were 98s,” recalled Sister Eleace King, executive director of the McGlynn Learning Center, referring to the center’s older computers that used Microsoft’s operating system, Windows 98.

So Mike, who volunteers at the learning centers through the Scholar in Service program, talked with Raymond Pryor, managing director of user services for King’s Information and Instructional Technology Services.

“I knew King’s donated computers in the past,” Mike said.

King said Mike originally came up with eight computers.

“Somehow that blossomed into 10 computers and four printers,” she said Tuesday at the McGlynn center, located in the Boulevard Town Homes complex off Wilkes-Barre Boulevard.

Five of the computers went there, while the other five went to the Mineral Springs in the Mineral Springs Housing Development on Eastview Drive.

The donation included 10 Dell desktop computers, three printers, keyboards and accessories, an immediate upgrade in equipment and in software to Windows 7. That equaled more than $3,000 worth of computer equipment to the centers.

The donation is the latest in a string of donations to area schools in the Wyoming Area and Wyoming Valley West school districts as well as to West Side Career and Technology Center, the Wyoming Historical Society, Head Start and daycare centers, Pryor said.

Community outreach

“We’ve provided hundreds of computers in the past seven years,” he said. “Outreach is very important to us.”

King said the new computers are more efficient and more helpful to the students who are working on research projects or are enrolled in the English as a Second Language programs at the centers.

“They’re much faster,” she said. “They don’t freeze.”

Promese Pendarvis, 12, a seventh-grader at GAR Junior/Senior High School, and Tanesha Moore-Adams, 14, a GAR eighth-grader, agreed the new computers were better in helping them with their schoolwork.

“I think they run faster,” Promese said. “They’re more updated.”

The McGlynn and Mineral Springs learning centers serve about 135 children, ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to high school.

The learning centers receive funding and space from the Wilkes-Barre Housing Authority to provide educational, recreational and social programs for children who live in the subsidized housing units.

Components recycled

After replacing some of the centers’ computers, King’s recycled the older equipment.

But even with receiving the new computer equipment, the centers still have 20 outdated models, and Mineral Springs lacks Internet access. The centers are looking for sponsors to provide a site license to use software packages, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite, scientific calculators and computer tablets, according to King’s spokesman Joseph Giomboni.

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