PATERSON, NJ - “Sharing is caring,” Kerly, a third grade student at Public School No. 14 declared on Tuesday as Superintendent Eileen Shafer, joined by Board of Education Commissioner Joel Ramirez, announced a donation from Intel Corporation of $25,000 to purchase 40 Dell Chromebooks courtesy of Micro Center.

The “sharing” Kerly spoke of had many levels: Intel, through its Score with Intel Core competition sharing their corporate success with local electronics retailer Micro Center; Micro Center, under the direction of general manager Jesse Lyons, choosing to share the success of store associate Adam Awad in the national sales competition with a local school; and Paterson Schools administrators sharing their desire to continually improve learning opportunities to the nearly 30,000 students under their care.

Even at her young age, the student showed an understanding of the enormity of the donation which will move the district a bit closer to its goal of making sure every student has access to a device to aid in learning.

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“My writing isn’t that good,” she said, never losing her smile. “I also want to practice my reading so I can move up in levels.”

“It’s a great day at School 14,” Shafer said to the ten gathered students before adding her hope that the students will use them for research, to help learn vocabulary words, and in other ways improve their learning potential. “It has often been said that knowledge is power, and the power of these Chromebooks is that they will greatly enhance our students’ abilities to develop their knowledge and skills.” 

For Commissioner Joel Ramirez, whom Shafer credited for helping to put the partnership between Micro Center and the District in place, the announcement served as a sort of homecoming. 

A graduate of School 14 nearly 30 years ago, a number that seemed unfathomable to some of the students, Ramirez said that the donation was an important one because of the device’s ability to “plant the seeds of knowledge,” in those that will utilize them. “It makes me proud to see students at the school get the best technology to aid in their education.”

Both Lyons and Awad, two of Micro Center’s representatives at the event, also have Paterson connections, Lyons as a former student teacher, and Awad a nearly lifelong resident. “It’s a rare opportunity to be able to give technology that can really change lives,” Lyons said. “We wanted to give back to the community we reside in, that’s important to us.”

Telling TAPinto Paterson that he was coming to the end of his more than 30 year career as an educator in Paterson, principal Hillburn Sparrow offered a quick glance at the children and said “they are full of joy, full of excitement.”

Though a bit more subdued than the students, the self described “old guy” who isn’t very “tech savvy” showed his own excitement for the opportunities the Chromebooks presented to those in his charge. “They need to have the opportunity to compete.”

“Today we planted winning seeds.”

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