Kramden Computers in Belize

Working with our longtime partner Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), 15 Kramden computers are in Belize. The systems are set up in a computer lab at Silk Grass Methodist School in the Stann Creek district of southern Belize. Southern Belize has a significantly higher rate of poverty than the northern part of the country and in the Stann Creek District, only 6 of the 36 primary schools had computers for the students to use.

A representative from KidzKonnect4Jesus, the local organization Rise Against Hunger partners with for their work in Belize, had this to say:

“For the vast majority of the 350 students at Silk Grass Methodist School in southern Belize, they touched the keyboard of a computer for the very first time thanks to the donation of much needed computers.  This includes children 13 and 14 years old.  The basic math and spelling programs preloaded captivated their attention like nothing we’ve ever seen before.  The teachers were amazed at the unusually calm and patient behavior as they waited quietly for their turn.  While we are early on with this program, everyone is very excited about this being a real “game changer” to drastically improve our learning process and literacy rates.”

 

 

 

A Kramden Super Geek won a STEMmy Award!

One of our awesome Super Geek volunteers, Ashlyn VanDine, was presented with the STEM Student of the Year 7-12 award at the Second Annual STEMmy Awards. The STEMmy awards, hosted by STEM in the Park, recognize students, educators, and organizations for the great work they are doing in STEM fields. Congratulations Ashlyn!

A full list of this year’s winners and pictures from the ceremony can be found here.

Kramden featured in NCTA Member Spotlight

 

 

 

Kramden Institute was featured in the North Carolina Technology Association’s Member Spotlight for April 2017. Read the full profile here.

Refurbished computers given to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools families

 

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Throughout the day on Thursday, parents pulled in front of Petree Elementary School thankful for a generous gift.

“It’s going to be a big help to everything. It will help me because that way [I don’t have to] be on their backs about their homework,” parent Thomas Williams said.

Free refurbished computers were provided to 100 families at the school who did not have a computer at home.

“We have a lot of smartphones, those have been a real savior for a lot, but there’s still that divide of being able to do schoolwork on a screen that they can see,” said Lynda Goff, executive director of WinstonNet.

WinstonNet, Durham-based non-profit Kramden Institute and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools teamed up hoping to close that gap.

“We’ve been making an effort to come to Winston-Salem and the Triad and try to get more computers into the schools here,” said Michael Abensour, Kramden Institute executive director.

It was an exciting moment for children like third-grade student Ciara Angove.

She had been using a tablet with an attachable keyboard, but looks forward to having a computer at home.

“If I have to write something, I might use the icon where we can write and then put it on a piece of paper,” she said.

“I can use it to look up stuff I haven’t learned yet like math,” fourth-grade student Deja Cunningham said.

On Friday, families at Bolton Elementary School will receive free computers bringing the total to 200 families helped by this initiative.

Find the original article here.

Southeast Raleigh Computer Center

 

The Southeast Raleigh community now has a new resource to help bridge the digital divide.  Bernadette McAllister, a longtime  advocate for digital inclusion and job readiness, has launched a training facility at Fellowship Raleigh to help meet the community’s needs. With support from Kramden Institute and Digital Inclusion Fellow Mike Byrd, Mrs. McAllister received 14 refurbished computers for the Southeast Raleigh Computer Center. The computer award from the Kramden Institute was funded in part by a grant from the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN).  

The Southeast Raleigh Computer Center will offer the Jobs For Life job readiness program  as well as digital literacy classes to residents of the community. On March 3, 2017 Mrs. McAllister and her volunteer staff hosted an open house for the Southeast Raleigh Computer Center which was attended by Raleigh City Council member Corey Branch, a strong advocate on city council for Southeast Raleigh residents. The Jobs for Life and digital literacy training started the following week on March 7, 2017 and the program currently has 10 participants from the community enrolled.  

2020 Olympic Medals to be made from e-waste

 

The Olympics is an amazing event. Thousands of athletes representing hundreds of countries come together every two years to compete. Millions of people around the world watch the best of the best give everything they have, every ounce of strength and skill, to win a medal. When the games take place in Tokyo in 2020, those medals will hold a little extra meaning.

Organizers of the Tokyo games recently announced plans to collect millions of used cell phones and other electronics from the Japanese public and use the metal recovered from recycling the e-waste to produce the medals. With collection boxes planned for more than 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores and public offices around the country, the committee hopes to collect eight tons of metal (gold: 40 kg, silver: 4920 kg, bronze: 2944 kg) in order to produce the 5,000 medals for the Olympic and Paralympic games.

In a press release, Ashton Eaton, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder said, “The weight of a medal around your neck is always a good weight and when an athlete at Tokyo wins a medal, the weight of it will not be from the gold, silver or bronze; it will be the weight of a nation. The awesomeness of this project makes me want to come out of retirement and compete for one.”

While the medals for the 2010 and 2016 games made partly of recycled materials, this will be the first time the medals will be made entirely of recycled metals.

A side benefit of computer recycling

In a recent newsletter, Free Geek, a computer refurbishing organization in Portland, shared some information about their computer recycling program. One number in particular caught our eye, the amount of gold and other metals that would be recovered from all of the materials they recycle.

After reading the email from Free Geek, we decided to find out just how much gold we helped recover last year.

In 2016 alone, Kramden sent 6,813 pounds of motherboards and other printed circuit boards to our recycling partner. Each ton contains an average of 5 troy ounces of gold[i]. Let’s have some fun with math.

6,813 pounds = 3.4 tons

5 troy ounces = 0.34 pounds

3.4 tons * 0.34 pounds/ton = 1.156 pounds of gold recovered

That’s a little over half of the gold bar pictured here:

Just over a pound of gold may not seem like a lot on its own, but let’s take a moment to put it in context.

Big mines produce 125 tons of waste rock per ounce of gold produced. That means the 1.156 pounds of gold our recycling efforts helped recover saved more than 4.6 million pounds of waste rock from being generated.

The impacts of gold recovery don’t stop there. Moving and processing all of that rock requires a lot of energy, both gas and electric. To extract gold during the mining process, the ore is doused with cyanide, an extremely lethal environmental containment. Puddles containing cyanide solutions are hazardous to wildlife and accidental spills into rivers led to large scale kills of fish and other aquatic species[ii]. Gold mining also releases large amounts of mercury, arsenic, and antimony into the environment[iii].

For us, it’s always nice to see another way in which the work of our amazing volunteers helps the world.

 

 

Partnership with Triangle Literacy Council

 

Collaboration with community organizations and schools across the state is a key factor in the success of our programs. We’ve kicked off 2017 with a bang thanks to one of these collaborations.

Triangle Literacy Council (TLC) is a Raleigh-based organization that works to improve the lives of adults, youth, and families by teaching basic literacy and life skills. One of their biggest programs is the Juvenile Literacy program, which has been extremely successful in preventing recidivism of court-involved youth and increasing participants’ educational levels. This model has proven effective in preventing criminal behavior, improving academic skills, and increasing emotional and social awareness for better behavior in schools, at home and in the community. The program’s intent is to provide at-risk youth with direct one-on-one tutoring and/or small group classes that address basic literacy deficiencies and align with North Carolina standards as well as to prepare them for End of Grade Testing.

Kramden partnered with TLC to award computers to participants of the Juvenile Literacy program at 22 different schools and community organizations in Durham, Person, Granville, Franklin, Harnett, and Vance Counties. Staff from TLC came to Kramden in December for training on how to award the computers and use the Ubermix operating system. Earlier this month, Kramden staff delivered 381 computers to TLC sites across the Triangle, with more headed out later this month.

This partnership allowed Kramden to serve students at schools we haven’t worked with before and have a deeper impact at some of our partner schools. In addition, partnerships like this one have a multiplier effect. Having access to a computer means these students can build on the skills they learned during the Juvenile Literacy program, using the computer for homework and making use of the suite of educational programs that come preloaded on every computer awarded.

2016 Impact Report

Digital Literacy and Computer Awards at the Oaks

 

Recently, Kramden Institute partnered with the Raleigh Housing Authority, the City of Raleigh, and Google Fiber in an effort to address the digital divide for residents of the Oaks, a Raleigh Housing Authority community of 50 individual housing units in the North Raleigh area.

As part of the partnership, Kramden Institute, supported by a grant from Google Fiber, provided free digital literacy classes to residents of the Oaks. Residents were trained by Kramden staff on computer basics, office programs, the internet, and social media. The City of Raleigh supported the program by providing volunteer teaching assistants for the class, all of whom are alumni of the City of Raleigh’s Digital Connectors program. Residents who completed the 4 weeks of training were awarded a desktop computer. Google Fiber, a provider of gigabit speed internet service and Connect Home partner, will provide free internet service to residents of the Oaks beginning in early 2017 under the Google Fiber Connected Communities program.       

Supported by a great community resident leader, Ms. Lottie Moore, and Raleigh Housing Authority Special Assistant to the Executive Director Sonia Anderson, Kramden Institute was able to enroll 12 adult learners from the Oaks Community in the digital literacy classes.  

Additionally, Ms. Moore, known throughout the community as Ms. Lottie,  and Ms. Anderson helped Kramden identify 25 additional households in the Oaks community with school age children in the home who qualified for our Kramden Tech Scholars program. While the digital literacy classes were taking place, these households were also awarded desktop computers refurbished by Kramden volunteers.

Through successful collaboration, the community partners involved were able to prepare over 70% of the households in the Oaks community for free internet service to be provided by Google Fiber.