Davis School District leaders want students to get the most out of the district's computers and taxpayers' money by refurbishing older computers and giving them to students.

In years past the machines have usually been sold as salvage and often end up at a landfill. But with cleaning, tweaking and refurbishing, some of the machines will find new homes with students who would not otherwise have a computer.

This month Davis kicked off its new Computers for Kids program that will put more that 100 desktops in students' homes through a competitive process.

"In an organization this large we have a lot of computers that end up being salvaged out," said Duane Singleton, Davis administrator of technology services. "We have taken those that are not good enough to run the software in the labs but with a little refurbishing and a little care we've been able make them work for students."

To win a computer, students must turn in an application and short essay on how they feel they will benefit as a student if they were to be granted the computer.

"We will award them to the most deserving and who would make the best use of these machines," said Singleton.

He said the computers may not be state-of-the-art, but they are certainly good enough to do some of the students' homework and use the Internet. They have also been tested and cleaned.

"This is one of the ways we are looking at connecting to the parents and community and providing the opportunity for families who may not have it otherwise," said Bruce Williams, Davis' business administrator.

All students in grades K-12 are eligible to apply for a machine, though officials say they will only award one per home. Applications can be obtained from any Davis school.

"It's certainly better than selling them for surplus," Singleton said. "We think it could have a big impact on some students and taxpayers' resources are used once again."

The computers are Pentium III desktops and come with a keyboard, mouse, speakers, modem and CD-ROM.


E-mail: terickson@desnews.com