West Side Education News & Notes
Summit County fiscal officer donates computers to Akron Urban League
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise announced her office has donated 21 computers to the Akron Urban League.
The computers are 2003 Panasonic Toughbooks (model CF-18) originally purchased to perform on-site appraisals. The office recently updated its technology and had no need for these computers, according to Scalise’s office.
Toughbooks are hand-held devices similar to a laptop. They are commonly used in the field because of their durability and rugged shell, according to Scalise’s office.
Kimberly Irvin-Lee, program administrator for the Akron Urban League, said the durability and ruggedness of the computers will be an asset to its Summer Enrichment Day Camp, which serves Akron children ages 5-12. The day camp plans to use the Toughbooks in a math lab and as part of the Akron Urban League’s Connect Your Community (CYC) program, which provides computer training to more than 3,000 members of the Akron community.
Fiscal Office staff upgraded their equipment to the new Panasonic Toughbook (model CF-H2) to perform state-required 2014 reappraisals. The model includes new tools, including the ability to synchronize information directly to the Fiscal Office’s Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal database, access maps and property records in the field, and photograph buildings using a built-in camera, according to Scalise’s office. The upgrade provides cost and time savings, as well as an environmentally friendly paperless appraisal process, office staff noted.
According to Scalise’s office, when equipment is retired and not claimed by another county agency, it may be donated through executive order.
For additional information about Summit County surplus equipment, visit www.co.summit.oh.us/executive/purchaseSurplusEquip.htm.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul hosting school supply drive
NORTHEAST OHIO — Although schools are adjourned for summer break, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Cleveland (SVDP) is already gearing up to prepare Northeast Ohio children in need with school supplies for the upcoming academic year. The 15th annual SVDP Back to School Drive will help economically challenged second- through sixth-graders by providing them with the necessary basic new supplies. Donations will be collected July 21-29 at approximately 86 parishes within the Cleveland Catholic Diocese during weekend masses, to be packaged and distributed to children in Summit, Medina, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties, according to SVDP officials.
During the drive, SVDP will seek donations of new school supplies, such as spiral notebooks, rulers, pencils, crayons, pencil cases, glue sticks, wide-ruled paper, folders, washable markers and erasers. The Back to School Drive also is accepting financial donations for usage in purchasing these items. Individuals and organizations may contribute by calling 216-696-6525, ext. 3150.
The back-to-school kits will be distributed at several locations in Northeast Ohio. In the Akron area, distribution will take place at Catholic Charities Emergency Services.
In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the SVDP Back to School Drive collected and distributed about 3,000 back-to-school kits to students in need in the region, according to SVDP officials.
Connect Ohio unveils website
COLUMBUS — Connect Ohio has completed a new self-paced basic computer and Internet training website, Every Citizen Online (ECO), located at training.connectohio.org. The new site is designed to be simple and user-friendly.
Ohio adults taking advantage of the ECO training are eligible to receive home broadband service specials (as low as $10 per month or free netbook with one-year subscription) and discounts toward computer purchases (starting at $119) from partner companies supporting the broadband training initiative, according to Connect Ohio officials.
More than 21,500 Ohioans have already completed ECO basic computer and Internet training since the program’s launch. The free 6-hour training covers computer basics, an introduction to the Internet and email and how broadband can be helpful in daily life.
Connect Ohio has partnered with nearly 300 libraries, community colleges, adult-education programs, work force centers, YMCAs and Goodwill Industries locations across the state to offer the free training.
The ECO digital literacy project, which is funded by the National Telecommunication and Information Agency’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, plans to train 200,000 state residents and to generate 75,000 new broadband adopters in Ohio. The scope of the three-year program includes thousands of training hours and more than 2,000 new computers provided to partner locations to upgrade community access points and to stimulate job creation and economic growth.
Training sites can be located by calling 855-NOW-I-CAN (669-4226) or visiting connect ohio.org/training-facilities.
Fellows create middle-school law curriculum
COLUMBUS — The Ohio State Bar Foundation’s (OSBF) 2010 Fellows Class has created “Constitution Classroom,” a set of materials geared toward explaining constitutional rights to middle school students.
The foundation found that many middle-schoolers do not know their rights as American citizens. As a result, the fellows created the curriculum to provide resource materials that view the U.S. Constitution especially for middle school students’ needs and interests today.
“We can help to answer a student’s question — ‘What’s in it for me?’ — by discussing constitutional issues and laws that affect students today,” said Karyn Justice, one of the fellows.
“Constitution Classroom” includes nearly 200 pages of background material, lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations concerning major constitutional themes of free speech, equal protection, search and seizure, due process, creation of laws and separation of powers, according to OSBF officials. They added that with the popularity of technology, students’ access to information and gossip has made it more important than ever for students to receive factual information and to understand their rights.
“We provide answers about whether teachers have a right to search a student’s iPod or whether one student can insult another on a Facebook page,” said Rick Dove, another fellow.
The materials are available at no charge at www.osbf.net. In addition, teachers may ask a lawyer to present the materials to their classes. For more information on that, contact Beth Gillespie at email@example.com.
— Kathleen Folkerth, Ariel Hakim and Maria Lindsay contributed to this report.
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