Homework humming along again thanks to hospital’s computer donation


Homework humming along again thanks to hospital’s computer donation

HealthAlliance gives 10 computers to Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster
By Peter Jasinski

 04/04/2018

Tyler Bedard, 15, of Leominster completes his math homework at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster on Monday using a computer donated byTyler Bedard, 15, of Leominster completes his math homework at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster on Monday using a computer donated by UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE PHOTOS / JEFF PORTER

LEOMINSTER – It’ll be less of a headache for some local students trying to get their homework done thanks to a recent donation of 10 computers from HealthAlliance Hospital to the Boys & Girls Club. The computers, which have been operational since last week, were given to the club after many of the club’s older machines started breaking down in rapid succession.

The club’s teen center, where high school students usually do homework after school, went from five computers to just one in less than a year.

“Before this, there was only one computer that everyone was using and everyone was waiting for it,” said Fitchburg High School sophomore Damien Vilavong. Catherine Burgess, an instructor in the club who works in the teen center, said having enough computers is important as most homework assignments require internet access. “A lot of kids have no computer at home, no printer, no tablet. They either have this or have to work off their phones,” she said. “The hospital has no idea how much this meant to us.” Burgess said the six computers in the teen center will likely be used by 80 to 100 students every day. Four more computers from the hospital will be used for the homework rooms that children between the ages of eight and 12 use. Prior to the donation, club Executive Director Donata Martin said she hopes the new computers will make it easier for children to complete assignments from school.

“A lot of the teens weren’t able to do the research they needed to be doing before,” she said. “They were going to the tech lab or even asking to go in our offices in the staff area to use the computers because there was nowhere else to go.”

UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital s President and CEO Deborah Weymouth speaks to kids inside the homework room at the Boys & Girls Club ofUMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital s President and CEO Deborah Weymouth speaks to kids inside the homework room at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster, which is filled with students using computers donated by the hospital. She is joined by Donata Martin, the executive director of the B& G Club of Fitchburg and Leominster.

Martin, who serves on the hospital’s board of trustees, said she approached HealthAlliance’s administration with the idea of donating computers when she learned the hospital was upgrading its computer system and replacing many of its machines. 

“We wanted to help because the club is local and they’re doing all the right things for the community,” said Deborah Weymouth, president and CEO of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital. “We want to continue to connect youth with the community and improve health and wellness.”

 

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