Clackamas County program aids schools
Clackamas County's distribution of no-longer-needed computers benefits students, schools and the county itself.
Seven school districts are among the participating agencies in a county program that dates back to 2010.
Adam Gingerich, a teacher at Eccles Elementary School in Canby, said it's not too early to introduce his students to what awaits many of them.
"We focus on skills that help students understand some of the opportunities for them in the future," he said. "Students are using their math skills to learn how to program them."
A total of 800 monitors and 300 laptops have been distributed among the districts and other participating nonprofit agencies.
Dave Cummings, chief information officer for the county, said schools can avoid the cost of buying new equipment.
"For schools, it equates to teaching positions," he said. "They can pick up this equipment and extend its life by five or 10 years and get a lot of active use of it for kids."
Dave DeVore, the deputy CIO, said the distribution also benefits the county, given quickly changing technology that makes the computers outdated for their original uses.
"For us, they have no residual value to try to sell them on the market," he said. "By the time we auctioned them and shipped them, we'd probably lose money. But for them (schools), this program saves them from buying new equipment."
Cummings and DeVore spoke at a recent business meeting of county commissioners, and also showed a video presentation in which Adam Gingerich and several students appeared. The students are not identified.
Commissioner Ken Humberston said the program is an example of how governments at all levels can stretch dollars.
"We pay taxes for all these things to be done," he said. "We are not an island, but rather part of the overall government of our county, which includes school districts. I think more people need to see this."