National volunteer organization brings technology to schools in 35 states
Sudbury, Mass (Nov. 1, 1996) — TECH CORPS, a non-profit organization of technology volunteers dedicated to bringing technology into America’s classrooms, has blossomed from one chapter to thirty-five in only one year. Hundreds of individuals, organizations and companies around the country have responded to this opportunity to grow TECH CORPS nationwide.
Karen Smith, TECH CORPS’ Executive Director, states, “TECH CORPS is all about talented individuals giving of themselves for the benefit of our youth and their education. We are proud that, during the next year, thousands of TECH CORPS volunteers across our nation will step up to the challenge of giving all students the most technologically advanced education possible.”
TECH CORPS’ mission is to recruit, place, and support volunteers from the technology community to advise and assist schools in the introduction and integration of technology into K-12 schools. TECH CORPS charters individual state chapters which in turn work with school districts in their state.
Enthusiastic volunteers train teachers and provide one-on-one mentoring, as well as assess the quantity, quality and use of computer hardware and software in schools. Some refurbish and distribute used equipment to the schools; others assist in district planning efforts. Volunteers serve in schools close to their job or home on projects that are based on the needs of that school. In addition to their own projects, TECH CORPS volunteers cooperate in other educational technology initiatives like NetDay96 and 21st Century Teachers.
“In one short year, TECH CORPS has grown from a vision to reality,” said Thomas Wheeler, president and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). “And the reality is that teachers, students and volunteers are all benefiting from this exciting public-private partnership that pairs education and technology. CTIA was the first national sponsor of TECH CORPS. Joining CTIA this year are Digital Equipment Corporation and the MCI Foundation.
With the goal of giving every child access to technology, TECH CORPS acted as project manager for CyberEd, a state-of-the-art, Web-enabled classroom on wheels. In April, CyberEd began a five month, cross-country crusade to bring hands-on Internet training to over 4,500 teachers, student, administrators and parents.
“We’re striving to ensure that all our children will have the skills necessary to compete in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Gary Beach, president of Computerworld, Inc. and founder of TECH CORPS. “It’s an inspiration to see members of the business, government and academic communities, as well as concerned citizens all over the nation joining TECH CORPS to make a difference in the education of our kids.”
TECH CORPS is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing K-12 teaching and learning through the effective use of volunteers to integrate technology into the educational environment. It is built on the grass roots concept of public-private partnerships with the goal of preparing students and teachers technologically for the 21st century. TECH CORPS volunteers offer technical expertise in hardware, software and wiring, mentoring one-on-one with students and staff, working side-by-side with teachers in the classroom, serving in advisory capacities, and assisting in teacher training.