Published On: Tue, Mar 22nd, 2011

Needy families to receive a portion of surplus county computers, says Commissioner Abrams

WEST PALM BEACH — County Commissioner Steven Abrams, who also serves as chairman of the Palm Beach Broadband Coalition, has announced that the Board of County Commissioners approved the donation of about 30 percent of all future surplus county computers to low-income families countywide.    To date, more than 100 computers have been donated.

This ongoing initiative is part of the Digital Inclusion program in which the county works with the School District and local students, who refurbish the computers.  The computers are then distributed to eligible families with children who do not have them in their home.

“This is a program that I am proud to support because it makes a real difference in young people’s lives,” said Abrams.

“One student told me that she was using her lunch money to pay for bus fare to go to the library to finish her homework,” Abrams said.  “Now, she said, she can turn her homework in like the rest of the kids.”

The county’s participation in this program will enable the recycling of computers that would otherwise be sold in bulk through the county Thrift Store.

The Palm Beach Broadband Coalition, consisting of the County, School District, Palm Beach State College, Florida Atlantic University, South Florida Water Management District and the Palm Beach County Education Commission, are collaborating to address the “digital divide” in selected high poverty neighborhoods countywide.

The Broadband Coalition has joined forces with local agencies such as the Urban League of Palm Beach County, Town of Palm Beach United Way and the Quantum Foundation and to date, more than 300 families are currently participating in the program. Additionally, this program has created more than two square miles of public WiFi zones where residents can access the Internet free of charge.


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