Computers Come From Surprising Source - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/10/06

Computers Come From Surprising Source

Investigators have identified two juvenile suspects who may have set fire to Wilson Junior High July 20th.  The fire burned through thousands of dollars worth of school supplies.  Area school districts donated desks and other necessities, but the teachers still needed computers. 

Flames wasted Wilson Junior High during the early morning hours of July 20th.  The blaze turned books into ash, and computers into plastic puddles.  "Every day we think of things that we don't have any more," said Wilson Junior High School Teacher Val Perkins.  "We'll go to reach for something, oh no, I don't have that any more," said Wilson Junior High School Teacher Vicki Oden. 

Everything is picked up off the ground at the school, and a fence keeps people away from the building.  Crews are still assessing the damage done, and they tell us they don't know when a new junior high will be built. 

"They had something catastrophic happen," said Price Daniel Computer Recovery Facility Assistant Manager Bob Hanks.  Hanks contacted Wilson school administration to lend a helping hand.  The computer recovery facility is located at the state prison in Snyder.  "It was an answer, almost to prayer," said Wilson Superintendent of Schools Mike Jones. 

"Everything that we rebuild, refurbish, is free back to the Texas public schools," said Hanks.  At a time when budgets are tight, the free computers and printers saved the school around $1,500 for each system.  "It's an enormous amount of money that would have been spent for just replacing the three that we lost," said Oden. 

"They've helped us out, and our kids, and our community, and for that we are always going to be appreciative of them," said Jones.  "We're just glad that we're able to help Wilson ISD, and we're happy to help any body else that we can," said Hanks.

The computer recovery program aims to teach inmates a marketable skill so they can leave prison and become productive members of society. 

To learn more about the program, and how your school can receive free computers, click here.

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