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Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA - Ninety-nine computers are loaded on a truck and on their way to help three Virginia school districts and two municipalities navigate cyberspace in the next millennium, thanks to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The computers, formerly used by EPA employees, are a gift to the Virginia Association of Counties. They are the latest of more than 800 computers that EPA’s mid-Atlantic region has donated to worthy organizations since 1996. They will be used for science education and cleaning up the environment.
"We are very proud of this partnership with the Virginia Association of Counties," said W. Michael McCabe, EPA’s regional administrator. "As we head into the new millennium, these computers will put students and community organizations on the information superhighway, the road to empowerment, self-sufficiency, and better environmental decision-making in the 21st century."
Jim Campbell, executive director of the Virginia Association of Counties, visited the EPA mid-Atlantic region office in Philadelphia on Monday to pick up the 99 computers. The computers were loaded onto a rental truck that Campbell will personally drive throughout the state as he delivers the computers to schools and county government offices.
"The Virginia Association of Counties is delighted to be a conduit between local governments and the EPA to provide our members with this equipment," said Campbell.
As Campbell hits the highway, his first stop will by Page County, where he will drop off a computer that will be used for school environmental programs given by the county’s litter control coordinator. "We really appreciate the opportunity to have a computer like this," said Page County Administrator Ron Wilson. "Our litter control coordinator has needed a computer for some time."
Campbell’s next stop will be the Dickenson County Public Schools, where he will deliver 35 EPA computers for the district’s science and environmental curriculum. "Our teachers are constantly involved with researching environmental items, and this technology will provide valuable support for their instruction," said school district’s science supervisor David C. Yates.
After stopping at Dickenson County, the truck heads for the Buchanan County Public Schools where Campbell will drop off 45 EPA computers for middle and high school science students. "They will really come in handy for us in the science labs in grades 6-12," said Frank Stiltner, the district’s technology coordinator.
Next stop will be the Carroll County Child Care Center, where six EPA computers will be a learning tool for pre-school children, and then two computers will go to the Carroll County Governmental Center to give public access to the Internet.
The last stop for Campbell will be Colonial Beach Schools with the remaining 10 EPA computers. "Our intention is to place these machines in our regular classrooms to support the instruction of the science curriculum," said Kathleen F. Beane, the school district’s coordinator of media and technology. "Environmental issues are an integral part of the science curriculum and the standards of learning. These computers will be of invaluable use in researching topics and ideas in the environmental field."
EPA has donated used computers directly to schools and non-profit organizations in accordance with President Clinton’s Executive Order 12999, "Educational Technology: Ensuring Opportunity for All Children in the Next Century." This executive order, signed by the president on April 17, 1996, helps to fulfill the federal government’s commitment to promote educational technology.
EPA’s mid-Atlantic region plans to donate more than 300 additional computers before the end of the year.