Supreme Court gives computers to Port Gibson schools

June 6, 2003

Surplus computers donated by the state court system are providing learning tools for Port Gibson public school students.

Claiborne County School District staff visited the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of Courts in Jackson on Tuesday and Thursday, June 3 and 5, to pick up more than 100 pieces of used office equipment, including computers and printers. It is the second time that the courts have donated used computers to Port Gibson schools. Port Gibson school officials received 33 used computers in February.

The computers provide work experience for students who build, repair and install computers as well as put more equipment in classrooms for students to use in other programs.

Port Gibson computer engineering instructor Lee A. Howard Sr. said, "They are learning how to work on computers. We refurbish them and put them in the various classrooms around the schools."

Port Gibson students have built computers as part of a statewide program that has helped put computers in every Mississippi public school classroom.

Refurbished computers donated by the courts have gone to A. W. Watson Elementary, Port Gibson Middle School and Port Gibson High School.

Port Gibson High School math instructor John Turner Jr. uses the refurbished computers to teach geometry and algebra problem solving as well as computer skills. About 140 students benefitted from the computers this past semester, he said.

The computers picked up this week will be used by students this fall, Howard said.

If they can't be repaired, they are recycled. Little is wasted. "Some of the ones we can't use, we just strip them for parts," Howard said.

Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr., a member of the court's computer committee, said, "I think the schools are one of the three most important institutions in our society. Anything that we can do to support public education and to enhance educational opportunities for Mississippi students, we want to do. That's why in some small way we hope that the donation of these surplus computers can benefit Mississippi's school children."

The state court system during the past 15 months has donated computers to four public school districts. Schools in Starkville, Tchula, Byram and Terry have also gotten surplus computers from the state courts.