By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)August 5, 2010
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - White Plains Middle School students and teachers will have 15 more computers to assist with the learning process when they return to school Aug. 9 thanks to Anniston Army Depot and DLA Disposition Services, a tenant on the installation.
"The Directorate of Information Management choose what they consider their best computers that have come in as surplus for the schools," said Donna Barton of DLA Disposition Services.
Those computers then have their hard drives wiped clean by DOIM personnel using Department of the Army-approved software to ensure no information remains on the drives. Once this is complete, DLA Disposition Services is notified and they enter the number of computers being donated into the Department of Defense Computers for Learning Program.
"We don't give the school any software. All the hard drives are completely wiped," said DOIM's Jan Parton. "But, the schools don't have a problem with that. Their information technology person makes sure they have the software they need."
For WPMS, the software needed for each computer depends upon its final destination.
"We are finishing up a computer lab for grades five and six, so eight of the computers will go to it," said Joe Dyar, WPMS principal. "Then, we have several new teachers who will receive computers for their classrooms, so the students can do small-group work."
That small-group work, according to Dyar, includes reading tests and assessments as well as math games to help build skills.
Dyar said the computer lab would also be equipped with software to aid students in developing their reading and math skills as well as software to assist with research information for science.
A minor hiccup in loading the computers occurred when two computer towers took a tumble from the forklift. One was too damaged to operate properly, so it was quickly replaced and the equipment was soon on its way to a new home.
The depot typically donates 15 computers at a time, including monitors, mice and keyboards, though Barton said that number has been as high as 20. Those who touch the computers do their best to ensure they go to a good, preferably local, home.
"We try to keep it in our local area," said Barton. "Anniston Army Depot has always been known for supporting local schools."
Once the schools pick up the computers, they belong to the school system, but, the Computers for Learning Program requires the equipment be disposed of properly when the time comes.
"The schools are monitored for three years because they are supposed to keep the computers for at least three years before they get rid of them," said Barton.
Barton said that once the computers are no longer useful for the school, the educators are required to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way, preferably through recycling.
For more information on the Computers for Learning Program, visit drms.dla.mil.