It takes miles of cables, piles of plugs, all styles of technology know-how, and dozens of volunteers to make it successful. The 12th annual Ed Tech Day 2014, coordinated by the Educational Foundation of WNY is planned for August 19, and to date 15 school sites and Boys and Girls Clubs are already registered for this one-day technology blitz.
“Ed Tech Day is a landmark day for us,” says Foundation president Renee Cerullo. “This is where our work really takes shape in the places where it’s needed most. Dozens of IT-trained volunteers give their time to help install technology in the most underserved schools in our region. Our volunteers will wire classrooms, reconfigure computer labs, set up servers, add wireless internet connections, and service existing computers, all at no charge to the school.”
While corporate sponsors, local businesses, and volunteers give their time, talent, and treasure to the foundation throughout the year, Ed Tech Day still needs some people and equipment to meet its immediate demand. Cerullo says, “We would appreciate the donation of personal computers that are no more than four years old, flat panel monitors, networking equipment, and surge protectors. Of course, we always need people to help, regardless of their skill level.”
Building and refurbishing computers is central to the Foundation’s mission to make technology accessible to children in under-served communities. Since its founding in 2003, the Foundation has helped thousands of children in more than 90 schools and community centers across Western New York. Updated, reliable computers in classrooms and other settings is essential for students. Cerullo says, “Computers are important teaching tools. Schools and other not-for-profit organizations are often unable to afford equipment and installation. Ed Tech Foundation volunteers provide a great service to these facilities, and also inspire other students to pursue careers in technology.”
Last August, the Foundation provided technology to 14 sites on Ed Tech Day, providing more than $10,000 of in-kind goods and services per site. Every year, needs increase. Cerullo says, “In some cases, participating schools have requested as many as 40 personal computers for their site.” The Foundation is working with the Diocese of Buffalo to repurpose technology from closed or closing schools, too.
To learn more about The Educational Technology Foundation of WNY, to donate equipment, or to volunteer, visit www.edtechwny.org, or call 716.250.4343.