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 SDCOE Supports Student Computer Program

Students at Granger Junior High are learning about computers as they rebuild old ones donated by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) as part of a successful afterschool program there.

Over the last several months, SDCOE has given the school about 40 computers to support the program, which allows students to keep the machines after they rebuild and refurbish them.

“It has been really cool to see them repurposed in that way,” said Darcy Lomeli, a program specialist with SDCOE.

The program, dubbed Cal. CPU, was created by Adan Escobedo, a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) advisor at the school.  Escobedo said he wanted to share his passion for computers with students and also ensure that they all had computers to use at home.

“I wanted to give these kids a skill,” he said. “The Geek Squad and Apple Geniuses, they make a lot of money.”

The program started in October with about 25 kids meeting after school and on weekends. There are now about 35 students.

It doesn’t cost the students anything to participate or to keep the computer they’ve rebuilt. The only expense was the cost to buy new hard drives for them.

Escobedo said he hopes to be able to expand the program to other schools.

SDCOE was able to give retired SDCOE computers to Granger to support the program there. 

Granger has been a participant in the Power of Discovery: STEM grant, which has been awarded to SDCOE's Region 9 Technical Assistance Center to support STEM learning in afterschool programs. Afterschool educators that represent approximately 125 programs are participating in the grant to increase STEM learning opportunities in afterschool programs. 

“Our goal is to ignite student interest in STEM through afterschool programs,” said Lomeli, who’s part of SDCOE’s Extended Learning unit.

Extended learning works with about 600 programs before and after school that serve about 100,000 students throughout San Diego, Imperial and Orange counties.