Court computers donated to classrooms

March 25, 2002

Administrative Office of Courts

Old court computers are going to Mississippi classrooms.

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Monday gave 30 computers to Starkville's Armstrong Middle School. It is the first of several expected property transfers intended to turn outdated equipment into teaching tools for public schools.

Armstrong Middle School Bookkeeper Debbie Carlisle and School Nurse Elizabeth Yarbrough took a school van to Jackson on Monday and picked up the computers.

Supreme Court Justice James W. Smith Jr., chairman of the court's computer committee, said he and fellow committee members James E. Graves Jr. and Oliver E. Diaz Jr. thought students could benefit, even though the equipment is past its expected life span.

"They have excellent utility for teaching tools," said Smith, who is a former teacher and school principal.

Smith said it is the second time that the Supreme Court has given computers to schools. A few were given to schools during an equipment update about five years ago, he said.

"This doesn't happen too often. We wear them out," Smith said.

Carolyn Briscoe, finance director for the state court system, said the computers are six- and seven-year-old models that have been used by the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the trial courts.

"They are old and slow," Briscoe said. "They had no useful life as far as we were concerned because they don't operate our system any more. They don't have the memory to run our system."

"Instead of just sending them to Surplus Property to sit and possibly be sold, we opted to donate them to schools," Briscoe said.

Briscoe said the computers are best suited for teaching youngsters introductory computer skills. She said they may not be suitable for more advanced course work for older students.

About 150 computers are available to give away to public schools. School officials interested in the computers may contact Briscoe at 601-359-3731.

News media may contact Beverly Pettigrew Kraft, court public information officer, at 601-354-7452.

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