Times Article 005
Hawaii Computers for Kids Program 2
may recall that I told you
about my Hawaii Computers for Kids Program back in September 1997.
Well, now it's bigger and even better for several reasons. First, we've combined forces with Governor Cayetano's
Computers for Schools Program that is administered by the Detwiler
Foundation, and have expanded the program statewide.
Second, January 1st marks the start of the Taxpayers Relief Act
with this second part, the new law contains expanded tax incentives
for the private sector(individuals and companies) to donate computer
technology, equipment and software to K-12 schools.
Under the 21st Century Classrooms Act, a measure of the
Taxpayers Relief Act, companies and individuals donating computers less
than two years old are able to take a charitable tax deduction
equal to the original purchase price of the equipment. Under the new
law, a company donating a $1,000 computer, within two years of
purchase, to an eligible K‑12 school would be able to take a
charitable tax deduction of the full $1,000 purchase price.
This is like getting to use your computer absolutely free
for two years! To
discourage computer "dumping" on schools, the incentive is
available for only relatively up‑to‑date computers and for
donations that are "useful to the recipient's education
realize that many thousands of you have already donated to Computers
for Kids, but I have to admit that many of the computers we have
received don't really allow the kids to use multimedia technologies,
and quite a few don't even run Windows.
The Clinton administration now views computers as
"off-the-shelf" commodities, and expects many people and
most companies to buy newer systems every few years. As a Management Information Systems Professor at Chaminade
University myself, I'm not sure I agree with this, but I do expect
many of you to take advantage of these new tax laws, and to start
donating your older Pentium and Power Macintosh machines that fall
within this two-year period.
have not heard as yet from Detwiler or the Hawaii Department of
Education on what they consider as "useful to their education
plans," but I expect that any Windows 95-capable Pentium or Power
Mac will qualify for the full write-off.
Please be sure to check with your accountant or tax lawyer to
see if your company does qualify.
the Detwiler Foundation's able help, Computers for Schools will really
take off in 1998. Detwiler
is a non-profit foundation, based in San Diego, that was established
in 1991 to provide California K-12 schools with computers.
They have now grown to support schools in seven states,
including Hawaii. After
meeting with Laura Matsuda Colbert of the Governor's Office, and
speaking at length with Jerry Grayson at Detwiler, it quickly became
apparent to me that partnering Computers for Kids with Computers for
Schools was the best way to help Hawaii's kids.
after several months of discussion, we have combined the programs
under the Computers for Schools name, but Detwiler also appreciated
that Hawaii already had an extensive network of volunteers and donors
in Computers for Kids. To
make a long story shorter, all of us decided to work together, and to
use a local non-profit organization to serve as the local contact
point for these programs.
local organization is the Metropolitan Rotary Club of Honolulu, of which
I am a member. With 165
members, Metro can provide a lot of help with "on the ground"
needs such as small pick‑ups and drop‑offs, performing tasks
for events, helping arrange volunteers for smaller refurbishing sites
and computer distribution & installation assisting with media and
public relations. This
leaves Governor Cayetano's office and the Detwiler Foundation to handle
administrative duties and standards‑setting, along with the DOE.
help Computers for Schools grow, I'm working with Metro to do the
Set up a series of drop-off points around the state for donations, so
that donors won't have to travel as far;
Set up even more computer refurbishing sites at K-12 schools
statewide that want to have facilities to train their students - these
will augment the state-level repair and upgrade facilities that Detwiler
has set up with the Hawaii Corrections Industries;
Create a database that shows which schools need specific computer
hardware and software, to eliminate the current hit-or-miss system I've
had to live with;
Develop & disseminate a packet containing specific
information on starting a computer-recycling program for businesses
& agencies; and
Hold quarterly "drop-off" events around the state where
donors can consolidate their excess hardware and software, and schedule
has also been working hard on Computer for Schools.
They have arranged for the National Guard to deliver donations to
the Neighbor Islands. They
have coordinated with Microsoft so that licenses of DOS are available
for all donated computers, and are working to get unlimited licenses of
Windows 3.X and 95. And
they have contacted a number of computer manufacturers to request grants
and donations to our program.
now what we need is your help in supporting Computers for
Schools!! Our friends at Pacific
Business News have offered their support in advertising the program,
as well as hosting a list of public and private donors.
KITV is working to prepare a series of public-service
announcements. Tech Corps
Hawaii is working with us to provide tutors and support at schools (of
course, it does help that I'm on their Board of Directors).
And I have begun talks with the Hawaii School-to-Work
Opportunities System to integrate Computers for Schools student
volunteers into their plans.
summary, we have the opportunity to create a world-class training system
for our kids, in support of the Hawaii Department of Education, using
grass-roots community donations and volunteers rather than our
hard-earned tax dollars. Please contact me at 521-2259
or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have donations, ideas, or want
to volunteer for Computers for Kids activities.
We'll have more contact points that I'll publish right as soon as
we firm up our new structure.
you all in advance for your continued support, and let's make 1998 a
huge success in support of our children!