Free computers and lessons to parents of elementary school-aged children [Family and Parenting]

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Free computers and lessons to parents of elementary school-aged children [Family

An exciting program by MUDDy Tech offers low income parents the chance to learn more about computers, and it sends them home with a refurbished computer FREE.

Program participants must be recommended in by a professional, which could be a doctor, teacher, employer or someone else who can vouch for them, stating that they are parents of elementary school-age children and that they have a financial need. Professionals can use the form at their web site to make a recommendation. (People wanting to participate can find a professional in their life and ask them to make the recommendation).

The program will then contact the potential participant to follow up and give them a class schedule. The participant will then take four basic computing classes on Thursday evenings where they will be taught to use a computer running Linux operating system. The classes are free, and they will be able to take their computer home when they have completed the class.

The goal of the program is to put technology into the hands of young people, so they will not be at a disadvantage in their education. In addition to free basic computing lessons, the program teaches participants about free open source software that is available for use instead of expensive brand name software. Only the partipciant will be allowed to attend the classes and will have to sign a waiver to enter the building. Children are not allowed at the lessons, which are held at the LVL 1 hacker space at  814 E. Broadway St (entry in the back alley). The site is not handicap accessible.

According to their web site, criteria for eligibility are as follows:

  • You must be an adult, 21 years of age.
  • You must be a parent with elementary school, or younger, children at home.
  • You do not have a computer at home.
  • You must have the recommendation of a “professional”, (for example:  Pastor, Counselor, Teacher, Social Worker.)
  • You must attend all sessions.
  • You must sign a “Disposal Agreement” and “Grantee’s Receipt” before taking home the computer.
  • You must be able to afford Internet Access.

The program also takes donations:

  • Working Intel or AMD based computers (The operating system does not have to work.  Virus and spyware infected computers are perfectly fine.),
  • Any towers and laptops that are 1.5 GHz a minimum of 1024 MB (1 Gigabyte) RAM.
  • Clean PS2 or USB keyboards (no wireless keyboards), optical mice (no roller-ball mice) and LCD monitors (flat, no tube).
  • Working Apple computers are fine but must be, Power Mac G5s, iMac’s, Mac Mini’s, Macbooks, and Macbook Pro’s if they have an Intel processor.  No Power PC Macintosh computers.

MUDDyTech will not take:

  • CRT monitors (tube monitors),
  • Printers,
  • Scanners,
  • Roller ball mice,
  • Wireless keyboards.
  • Any computers over 8 years old.
  • Any computers that will not start at all.
  • Power PC Macintosh computers
About Jessica Lynn
Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.
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