SUSE Linux announced today that they are donating 700 software units to Lehigh Valley Computers For Kids, an organization that provides free PCs to students in the Allentown School District in Allentown, PA. SUSE Linux is one of the first participants in this pilot program.
SUSE Linux is excited about bringing the benefits of Linux to kids and exposing them to new and cutting-edge applications that represent the future of computing. In addition to today's contribution of 700 software units, SuSE Linux hopes to continue sponsoring this program with additional software. SUSE initial contribution to the program includes 200 8.1 Personals, 500 8.1 Professionals and five 8.2 Professionals software packages.
Lehigh Valley Computers for Kids (LVCFK) is an all-volunteer organization that relies on financial contributions, product donations and in kind services from businesses, schools and private citizens. "We are very grateful for SuSE Linux's contribution to our organization," said Randy Plessor, president of the non-profit LVCFK. "Their products are a cost-effective alternative. Over the long term, Lehigh Valley Computers for Kids hopes to expand across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, duplicating our volunteer efforts and working with local politicians, state and local governments to accomplish this important mission for Pennsylvania's 960,000 primary schoolchildren. Ultimately, the organization hopes to work on a national level."
Students benefiting from this K-5 program are required by LVCFK to attend a two-hour training course. "We have in place a system that distributes the computers and teaches students Linux every month through a user group called the Lehigh Valley Community Computer Club," said Mare Shaffer, vice president of LVCFK and an elected school board member for Allentown School District. "Most of the families that receive these computers have a very limited income and really need this for their children's homework. The parents also get an education as they learn computer skills along with their children."
Mr. Plessor has worked in partnership with Allentown School District to provide more students and their parents with computers in their homes. "The connection between home and school is one which we want to mutually strengthen," stated Dr. Karen S. Angello, Superintendent of Schools. "Mr. Plessor has demonstrated how 'One Parent Can Make A Difference.' He has had the courage to turn a dream into a reality, and that courage is positively impacting students."
About Lehigh Valley Computers For Kids
As a volunteer, non-profit local organization, LVCFK is a technological advocate for low-income children and their families who wish to bridge the digital divide. Specifically, LVCFK offers donated, refurbished computer equipment and training free of charge to students in ASD at this time. To date, LVCFK has given away 116 PC's with a small version of Linux called "Vector." LVCFK criteria to donate computers to students is simply that they do not have one at home currently. For more information, contact Randy Plessor via phone at 610-704-3217, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.lvcfk.org.
About Allentown School District
As the fourth largest district of 501 of them in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Allentown School District educates approximately 16,800 students in 23 elementary, middle and high schools located throughout the City of Allentown, and employs over 2,000 administrators, professionals, staff members and employees. The District is successfully completing a three-year Empowerment Plan. Over two-thirds of ASD's students take part in a district-wide subsidized lunch program.
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