News: SOCOM helps local elementary school
Story by Staff Sgt. Angelita Lawrence
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Many may know Special Operations Command as quiet professionals, but students around the Hillsborough County will know SOCOM as caring professionals after SOCOM donated 30 computer monitors to Tinker Elementary School Media Center through a program called Computers for Learning.
Computers for Learning, is a program initiated in 1996, by an Executive Order allowing the military to donate any equipment that is automation and passed its three year life cycle. U.S Army Master Sgt. Noel Acosta, J4 Property Book Office noncommissioned officer in-charge, is one of the initiators of the program Computers for Learning at SOCOM.
“This is one of 10 programs SOCOM has in place and a way to give back to the local community,” Acosta said.
Since the initiation of this program in 2011, SOCOM has donated equipment at Summer Field Crossing Elementary and Summer Field Elementary in Hillsborough County. Tinker Elementary is the third school in the SOCOM program but, the first school that the transfer of equipment went smoothly.
Virginia Campbell is the media technology specialist for Tinker Elementary School, and she runs the media center and oversees all the technology in the school as far as repairs or any technology needs the teachers may have. She also brings technology to the students by teaching them classes in the computer lab or media center.
“Virginia Campbell runs down the process for Computers for learning, which started, with filling out a form that stated information about the name of our school and information about Tinker, how many students we have and what our technology needs were,” Campbell said. “Once the paperwork was completed I faxed it to the Defense Logistics Agency in Washington D.C., who then enrolled Tinker Elementary into the program. Once the paperwork was finished, Master Sergeant Acosta was notified that we could receive equipment.”
Tinker’s principal, Nancy Mooy, said staying current in regards to technology is important to the students.
“These children are children of technology, this is the 21st Century, and this is how they are going to learn,” Mooy said. “Children are going to be using them, that is the way of them learning, and the more they are able to get on them and the more streamlined they are, the better it is going to be for all of us.”
The flat screen computer monitors donated from SOCOM will replace the outdated CRT monitors, according to Campbell. The monitors will support the more than 600 students that attend Tinker Elementary, which has at least four computers in each classroom, as well as in the schools’ media center.
So far SOCOM has donated more than $53,000 worth of equipment, Acosta said. When this program grows to its full capacity, he projects the command will donate approximately $2 million dollars worth of equipment per year.
“We are very grateful these monitors will be used by our school and they are going to be used by children that are our future,” Mooy said.
While many throughout the community may only see the command as an elite fighting force operating throughout the world, Acosta said it’s important for the command to be involved in the local community.
“Everyone that is military knows SOCOM as Special Forces and that’s it,” he said. “The population in Tampa does not know SOCOM as a socially responsible business … they don’t know how SOCOM contributes to society, and that is what we are trying to do.”
For more information about Computers for Learning visit http://computersforlearning.gov/htm/hp_schooleducation.htm