Non-English speaking families receive computer training |

Non-English speaking families receive computer training

by Kurt Hildebrand

Four families received computers and training at Jacks Valley Elementary School as part of the school’s English as a Second Language program.

All four have students in the program and the computers will help them do their homework, according to aide Ariel Borgman.

In all, 14 computers were donated to the school through a grant from Computer Corps in Carson City.

The Carson City non-profit refurbishes donated computers for use by local schools and charities.

Teachers Mary Whalen and Karen Aleman are in charge of the program and held a graduation for the families over the past two Fridays.

“The families are taught the basics, such as how to turn the computer on and do basic word processing,” Borgman said. “It’s great because their kids take computer classes. The kids are very familiar with computers, but the parents to this point have not been.”

The classes also offer parents an opportunity to practice on the machine before they take it home.

The computers are valuable, because students can save their homework to a floppy disk and do it at home and then bring it back into school with them.

However, the kids won’t be playing Doom 3 on the machines, which are older IBM models equipped with Windows 95.

“It is mainly for them to do their homework,” Borgman said. “They are Internet ready and we’ve given them the information to sign up so they can later pay for the service if they want.”

The program started out when Whalen’s husband needed some computer work done last summer. He was put in touch with Computer Corps, which often donates the machine.

“Mainly it was about finding information,” Borgman said. “There was a grant so this could happen at no cost to the families.”

For more information about Computer Corps visit their Web page