LETTER-DETWILER/1STJC

Barbara O'Connors' guest opinion ("Public schools need technology," Feb. 17) stressed the need for telecommunications technology and trained teachers in our schools. But there is a practical solution to improving California's classroom technology that doesn't require spending billions of taxpayer dollars.

If just 10 percent of the computers corporations disconnect each year were placed in classrooms, California would jump to the top 10 among all states in pupils per computer.

The Detwiler Foundation Computers for School Program has developed a computer donation pipeline that makes it simple for companies to donate their surplus equipment. We receive computers, refurbish and upgrade the equipment at repair centers located in state prisons, California Youth Authority facilities, high schools, Regional Occupational Programs and community colleges, and place the computers in schools. All this is done at a fraction of the cost of a new computer.

Since 1991, we have become the largest source of computers for K-12 students in California. We have placed approximately 28,000 computers, including thousands with 486 or better Pentium processors. Our program has proven so successful that we are now expanding nationally to aid students across the country.

Locally, the program continues to have a strong impact. On April 16, we will present 500 computers to 50 Los Angeles schools, 38 of which are located in the most impoverished communities.

The Los Angeles Online! event is made possible by the coordination and leadership of Mayor Richard Riordan, AT & T;, Southern California Edison, Pacific Enterprises, Nissan, the Los Angles County Office of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, Federal Executive Boards and the California Department of Corrections.

We hope other corporations will participate in our program to ensure our children will be equipped with the tools they'll need to succeed in the information-driven economy of the 21st century and beyond.

We invite donors to contact the Detwiler Foundation Computers for Schools Program at (800) 939-6000, or info@detwiler.org, or www.detwiler.org.

Diana Detwiler

Executive Director

Detwiler Foundation

La Jolla

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