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Dozens of Sixth-Graders to Receive Free Computers and Digital Training

By DNAinfo Staff on October 19, 2012 7:51am

EAST HARLEM — Dozens of sixth-graders from the Patrick Henry School will receive free computers and digital training on Saturday.

In addition to the free computers to 96 children at the school, which is also called P.S. 171, organizers from CFY (Computers For Youth) Digital Learning Program will offer workshops on the Internet, computer care and upkeep, and desktop setup.

The workshops, made possible by a Connected Learning grant, will kick off at 9 a.m. One of the workshops will be offered in Spanish, too.

The computers come equipped with approximately 50 educational programs on topics such as algebra, English language arts and physics. Free, round-the-clock tech support in English and Spanish is also available to participating families.

Children will also receive free subscriptions to Kaplan's online offerings, which typically cost about $700. Participating families will also get three years of "significantly discounted" Internet service from a provider of their choice.

For the current school year, the school will receive an estimated $150,000 in computers and training, said Principal Dimitres Pantelidis. The grants have helped the students so extensively, he said, that the school, which is in its third year, was named the most improved middle school in New York by education-ranking website SchoolDigger.

"They're playing games, but they're learning," Pantelidis said.

Pantelidis is especially excited about how entire families get to participate in the process together.

"When we say it takes a village to raise a child, we're actually doing that," he said.

The grant also allows the school to address other tech needs, such as buying SMART boards — an interactive whiteboard — document cameras, teacher training and a classroom technology coach.