By Sarina Trangle
Families filed into IN-Tech Academy MS/HS 368 classrooms on Saturday, where staff introduced them to their new computers.
Kym Boyce, a family trainer with the nonprofit CFY, showed participants various Internet browsers, applications for creating movies, editing photos or typing papers and a slew of educational games offered through CFY’s Power My Learning website.
Kaitlyn Nuñez, of Kingsbridge, tested out an arithmetic game in which solving equations allowed her to knock fireballs off course and save penguins whose igloos were at risk of melting. She ticked off numbers on her hand and correctly answered that 12+5=17. The ball of flames flew above the igloos.
“Yes!” Kaitlyn shouted.
Her mother Eleticia Sanchez said the desk in Kaityln’s room has had a spot cleared for the computer for about a year.
“She’s excited. She’s like, ‘I want to go home already,” Ms. Sanchez said. “Right now, she’s just watching TV when she has free time. Now, she will be busy learning while playing on the computer.”
This Saturday, about 120 IN-Tech sixth graders rose at 8 a.m. to complete a workshop with parents and take home desktop computers provided by CFY, a national organization that provides low-income communities with equipment and software to enhance digital learning.
In one room, Ms. Boyce instructed about 30 children to get acquainted with the various computer parts, saying, “Take a look at it. Your name should be on it. Begin falling in love.”
Angel Figueroa stared at the Samsung monitor that rested on a Dell computer and its tangle of chords. He glanced at a screen at the front of the classroom displaying where each chords for the keyboard, mouse and screen should be plugged in.
His mother Zully Almonte held the monitor as Angel peered behind it and screwed a wire into place.
Next came the keyboard. Ms. Almonte reminded him to hook the USB cord into a socket at the back of the computer.