Carbondale Computer Rehabilitation Program

Carbondale Computer Rehabilitation Program
By:  Lauren Keith

Carbondale, IL -- These days, your kids just might know more about the family computer than their parents.  Still, as we grow more technologically advanced, not everyone has a computer.

A Southern Illinois school district wants to change that.  It's called the “Carbondale Computer Rehabilitation” program, and if you qualify, you could get a computer for only 60 bucks!  The school district and several local agencies teamed up, in hopes of making every child's home a place where they can log onto the information superhighway.

They say, it's a "lesson plan" other Heartland schools just might want to use, too.  The plan sells donated computers and old computers from the district for $60 to families who qualify for the school’s free and reduced lunch plan.  "In these times, teachers really do expect a lot to be done on computers. In our schools, we have labs in every one of our buildings, so children do have the opportunity to work on computers here, but they go home, and there are no computers," said Elementary Supt. Elizabeth Lewin.

It's a situation many families know all too well.  Jessica Robinson is now excited to start the 6th grade soon, with a new computer waiting for her at home.  "Like if I need to research on a computer for homework, I won't have to go to the library. I can do it on my own, and it will be much easier," said Jessica Robinson.

It appears many families in this school district are eligible for the discounted computers.  The superintendent says about 60% of the 1,500 students could sign up for the program, and it won't just be students pounding away on the keyboard.  

"Very often our children are able to use the computer, but parents don't know how, so there will also be training for any adult wanting to enhance their computer skills, so it's a win-win situation for the school and the families,” said Lewin.

If you’re interested in the program, or would like to donate a computer, just call your child’s school.  They can put you in contact with the program coordinator.