OLD TOWN, Maine — Many schools in Maine will follow a hybrid model of learning this upcoming fall semester. An Eagle Scout project in Old Town is focusing on making sure elementary students have the devices they need to access remote learning at home.
16-year-old Ryan Kelley of BSA Troop 76 in Old Town is working to collect used, older, PCs, laptops, and tablets to refurbish them into remote learning devices for RSU 34 and potentially even beyond that school district. These would be rebuilt and provided for elementary students in Old Town, Alton and Bradley.
Jon Doty is the Director of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment for RSU 34. Doty says Kelley's effort to rehab old machines will go a long way.
"We have about 700 elementary students across our 3 elementary schools, and our data collection over the summer, we had about 275 families that said their elementary student either did not have access to a device at home or had access to a shared device," says Doty.
With every donated and gently used computer Kelley gets, he will refurbish and reprogram it to later donate to kids in his community who need them.
"Whether they'd be laptops, desktops, printers, peripherals such as mice, keyboards, monitors, webcams especially!" says Kelley.
"The more we can do through a project like this to get working devices into kids hands the better and the more ready they are to learn and the fewer barriers there are to their learning," says Doty.
"I'm sure a lot of people have an old laptop they've just forgotten about like underneath their bed or something just covered in dust, that they could give away and donate to us to reuse," says Kelley.
Doty says getting access to people at home can help ensure students are ready to learn if they have hybrid or remote schooling.
"It's something that you can use for online learning this year during this time where we are not certain about anything," says Kelley.
A win-win that serves students and helps Kelley attain his highest rank as a scout.
Kelley will hold a drive-up donation day on Monday, September 7th at Old Town High School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for people who have gently used laptops and would like to donate one can give it to him there at his drive-up and donate day.
Old Town High School is located at 203 Stillwater Ave, Old Town, ME 04468.
If you can't stop by on September 7th, computer donations are accepted at any of the RSU 34 schools.
Kelley will also hold a computer drive on Monday, September 7th from 9am to 2pm at Old Town High School. He also told me that if you live near the Old Town, Alton and Bradley area the device can be picked up at your house, just call 207-478-4295.
If you want to donate a laptop, desktop, mouse, keyboard, monitor, webcam or printer you can drop it off at any RSU 34 school lobby. The schools in RSU 34 are Old Town Elementary School, Old Town High School, J.A. Leonard Middle School, Alton Elementary School and Viola Rand Elementary.
You can also mail computers to:
Old Town Elementary School
Attn: computer donation
576 Stillwater Avenue
Old Town, ME 04468
Kelley has recently set up a GoFund me page for this initiative, click here for the GoFundMe page.