A Special Link West Chicago Students Ship Computers to Angola

Article excerpt

Students at Community High School District 94 in West Chicago recently sent two laptop computers to Angola to open up the world to students in the war-torn nation.

The West Chicago students raised more than $800 in their advisory classes to purchase the special laptop computers from the One Laptop Per Child Program, which has a mission to empower children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child.

The computers are being taken to Angola by RISE International, a not-for-profit organization based in Winnetka. This group works with the Church in Angola to rebuild schools.

Lynn Cole, executive director of RISE, appreciates the efforts.

"We are so grateful for the laptop donation from Community High School. Our hope is to bring the laptops, allow those involved with the primary schools in Angola to get excited about the possibilities, to encourage them to move the project forward and inspire those that need to take steps within Angola to pursue acquisition of the laptops," Cole said..

"Once in place, the vision would be to see two or three computers in each school. These computers are made for the conditions of Angola's rural schools and could broaden the world of the students and allow them to learn and be empowered."

Community High School humanities teacher Barbara Laimins and her freshmen advisory team raised $200.

"My students realize the importance of having a computer to have access to information which will help citizenship and provide the Angolan students the skills to succeed in their education," Laimins said.

In the 2005-06 school year, students from the high school raised more than $10,000 to build a school in Sakutopi in partnership with RISE International. Since that time, Community High School has continued its relationship with RISE International and Angola to send school supplies, recreational and medical resources as a part of the WeGo 2 Africa project spearheaded by the Community Leadership class at the high school. …