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Getting Wired in Eltham

posted Nov 3, 2010, 9:22 PM by Karen Cave   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 3:23 PM ]
DATE: 03 April 2006



The Eltham Computers in Homes programme celebrated its first birthday with the announcement more families will benefit this year.

Last year 15 families took part in the programme based at Eltham Primary School, undergoing training and then receiving a free computer, internet connection and technical support.

The 20/20 Communications Trust began Computers in Homes in Porirua in 2000, making recycled computers available to families unable to buy one for themselves. It is modeled on the successful Books in Homes and aims to make sure families are not left behind in an increasingly technological world.

Erena Hillman was one of the Eltham parents who did the course last year. Her three children, aged nine, eight and five, use the computer for homework and entertainment, while Erena catches up with friends and family and looks for jobs. “We use it for everything; it’s like quite a big loss when it’s not going.”

During the day Erena will think of something she wants to know more about and then at night look it up on the Internet.

This year’s five-week training for parents of children at Eltham Primary School takes place in term two with a choice of two dates to start the training. The TSB Trust and 20/20 Communications Trust are providing the funds.

Trainer Chris Turner will lead the course, held this year at the Eltham Community Building because of the redevelopment happening at the school.

Karen Cave, who did last year’s course with husband Darryl, says their four-year-old son Bradley can now turn the computer on, play a game and shut the computer down, learnt from watching his siblings. “It’s just awesome to see him able to do it on his own,” Karen says.

She produces a newsletter for the local kindergarten on her computer, which is much easier than using a typewriter.

Mary McKee, who won a printer at the birthday celebration for completing a survey, uses her computer to research her disability, get recipes and knitting patterns and to shop. Her 14-year-old uses it to research school projects and her four-year-old to learn to write her name and do pictures.

Computers in Homes national co-ordinator Di Das says children with a computer at home are more confident at school and more enthusiastic about homework if they can do research on the computer.

While the programme started with a focus on children and their literacy, it soon became apparent parents were learning computer skills too, vital for nearly every job.
Di says the programme is not just about getting computers in homes, but encouraging parents to be involved in their children’s education and seeing the benefits of technology for education.

The Eltham programme is supported by Eltham Community Care, Eltham Primary School and the South Taranaki District Council.

To register or find out more about the programme, contact community development Jackie Broughton on 0800 111 323 or inquire at the school.


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