Army donates computers to Oakhill Christian School
To learn more
School personnel can register for the Computers for Learning program by visiting dispositionservices.dla.mil. Scroll down to "Property Search for Military, Federal & Special Programs" on the left side of the page and click the "Computers For Learning" link.
The site includes a list of schools already registered for the program.
JANESVILLE Children at Oakhill Christian School are working on 40 "new" laptop computers, thanks to an upgrade courtesy of the U.S. Army.
The military regularly replaces its computers. Rather than destroy them, personnel wipe the hard drives clean and donate them to schools through a program called Computers for Learning.
"It's a pretty big blessing for us," said James Eaker, Oakhill Christian School principal. "It's definitely a big improvement on some things we're able to do here. We're real thankful for the program."
Daniel Straasburg, a Janesville resident stationed with the Army's recruiting command in Milwaukee, was touring Oakhill when he noticed the computers there were from the late 1980s and early 1990s. He told school officials how to register for the program.
Johnson Bank had donated the computers the school had been using previously.
The school's "new" computers are possibly three or four years old, but they are better quality than what the school had before, Eaker said.
The army also sent replacement parts, keyboards and hard drives to keep the computers going for a few more years.
Eaker said the donation, which he values at between $10,000 and $14,000, would allow the school to replace all the computers in its computer lab. The science lab also will get a computer, and staff members will get one for their desks, as well. Eaker is hopeful one will be left over for administrators.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Michel Buterbaugh said the program's goal is to take used equipment from all branches of the service and recycle them in schools.
Buterbaugh, a member of the 3rd Battalion who has been stationed at Fort McCoy for three years, was tasked with promoting the computer program. He said it's sometimes difficult to convince school personnel that the computers are wiped clean and clear of viruses.
In the last three years, the Army has distributed about 350 computers in the Tomah and Sparta areas, he said. Those at Oakhill are the first in the Janesville area.
Any school can apply for the program.
"If you think of it, all the computers that the Army, Navy—all of us have—the taxpayers bought," Buterbaugh said. Recycling the equipment is obviously better than throwing it on a scrap heap, he said.