(Daily News (Jacksonville, NC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 28--A local Boys and Girls Club received a free computer lab Friday.
GTECH and the North Carolina Education Lottery unveiled a new $20,000 After School Advantage computer lab at the Belgrade Community Center, located at 482 Spring Hill Road in Maysville.
As part of the donation, the center received 11 Dell laptop computers, one Dell desktop computer, a television, a television wall mount, chairs, a variety of educational and creative software, room decor, and room renovations, including a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting.
Brennan Williams, president of the Belgrade Community Action Association, said staff and students are excited about the donation.
The technology, he said, will be used to create video, audio, photography and web design.
Williams said when the center first heard from GTECH, he thought they would receive the Adobe Premiere software needed to edit video, audio and photography as well as learn web design for the iMac computer they bought about a year ago.
When the company showed up in two vans with more than software, he said he was in awe.
"Our minds weren't thinking that big. ... We were happy if we could just get software," he said.
There are 16 students involved in the after-school program, Williams said, and they will be learning how to use the technology.
Once they've learned, he hopes the students will share their knowledge with others.
"Our goal is to teach our kids, train them how to operate and utilize the equipment, then they can take it to the other kids in the Boys and Girls Club as well as other programs that may be agencies that are not affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club but share that information, share that knowledge and experience," he said.
The technology, Williams said, will help the center build a future for its students.
"Technology has grown a whole lot but it's a lot more to be revealed so we want to make sure that we're on the cutting edge, making sure they're able to compete and have the opportunity," he said.
The lab will assist the center with after-school programs and help its guests learn the necessary computer skills needed to succeed, according to information from GTECH.
"... Our computer lab is now a full-fledged resource center that will build upon the already successful after-school program at Belgrade Community Center," said Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Onslow County Chief Professional Officer Jeff Green via a Friday news release. "We are fortunate to have GTECH contributing to the educational success of our children."
The unveiling was part of a worldwide program GTECH, which provides lottery technology and services to the N.C. Education Lottery, implemented in 1999 to serve at-risk youth in jurisdictions where the company does business.
"This program was designed to provide youth with a meaningful, yet fun, learning experience during the critical after-school hours and to offer opportunities that may not otherwise be available to them, all achieved within a safe environment," said David Pezzullo GTECH North Carolina account development manager.
In order to qualify for the program, an organization must be a nonprofit community agency, be located where GTECH does business, have an existing after-school program in need of a computer lab, serve at-risk youth ages five to 15 of diverse backgrounds and must have staffing and monetary support systems in place to sustain the lab.
For more information about the program, visit gtechlottery.com.
Amanda Hickey is the government reporter at The Daily News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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