As the second semester of classes here get into full swing, we’ve seen the need to start another computer fund raising project to be realized for the end of this school year or the start of the next.
Tom’s classroom is still doing great. However, the basic-level computer course, “Basics of Computer Usage,” which is a pre-req for Tom’s class and is the most popular class at the Institute with nearly 60 graduates each semester, is in need of some computer updates. In addition, the Kinder computer lab (which certainly is at the bottom of the totem pole as far as ‘crucial’ upgrades) has had multiple deaths since May and mice chronically going on the fritz. So the plan is to make a purchase of as many new computers as we can manage (note we’re just buying computers not monitors, we still get by ok on the old CRTs) for the basic-level computer lab and then their older computers can be inherited by the Kinder lab. In addition, we’d purchase 20 small, optical mice for the Kinder lab. Sometimes the kids have to move the mouse with one hand and click with the other because the mice are so big and the aged, roller-ball mice can be difficult to move. This gets the newer technology where it’s really needed (Institute) but also improves my ability to educate, versus frustrate, students at the Kinder.
The Institute and Kinder classes which teach basic computer skills are aimed toward students who do not have access to computers at home or at libraries and so are at a disadvantage. Computers are taught in some grade schools but not all. By high school, students are expected to come in with certain basic skills and if they don’t have them they just fail instead of being ‘caught up’ by the teacher (another product of huge class sizes). The same thing happens in Universities, students are expected to use Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint but no classes are offered to teach them these skills. So students have to take extra classes at an Institute in order to be able to pass their university classes. For many students the Institute works to supplement where their high school education was deficient. And though Bolivia is technologically behind developed countries, the reality already is that you can’t get into any professional position without basic computer skills.
Two generous donations have already been pledged from our family members and we’d like to invite you to join with them so that this computer purchase can make the biggest impact. It’s always better to buy ‘in bulk’ as far as prices and to have as many of the same computers as possible which makes lab maintenance easier.
To make a tax-deductible donation, you may send a check to:
Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
attn: Bolivia Mission – Montero Computers
866 Cambria St.
Cresson, PA 16630-1713
Federal ID # : 75-236-912
Or if you’d like to send the money directly to us (arrives faster) you may send a check made out to Thomas Kent to Tom’s parents:
10342 Colorado Rd.
Bloomington, MN 55438
Thirdly, you can click our Paypal button:
Thank you helping us to continue to improve the educational offerings here, which is a key step in ending cycles of poverty. This is one of the few ways that we can make ‘lasting’ change in the community, and leave something behind that will continue to help.