The printers will be placed in key areas throughout the organization’s seven clubs.
“We can always use more printers. There is only one in the computer lab with 20 computers. If we can get a couple more in there, then that would be great,” said Mike Thompson, IT director.
Director Charlie Sutton said the recent technological additions are appreciated.
“There are many, many needs for printers at our clubs,” Sutton said. “There is the issue of having printers in proximity to what you are working on. ... These printers will further reduce the demands for admin to support all of the programs. It is a huge blessing to have new printers.”
Cleveland is receiving eight of the 250 printers donated by Lexmark International to the C4K program.
Distributed printers are going to Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Tennessee. The printers come on the heels of last year’s computer donations. A total of 65 were given to the Cleveland based clubs.
“They are all state-of-the -art hardware. It was a huge blessing for us. In the past, we have built all of our computers in-house. We do not have the budget for 65 new computers. That set us up for the next eight to 10 years computer wise,” Thompson said.
Technology donations are a part of Connected Tennessee’s C4K: Preparing Tennessee’s Next Generation for Success project. In addition to computers and printers, academic support programs and workforce training is provided by C4K. The program focuses on at-risk youth and those in the Boys & Girls Clubs.
According to a press release, this program is “providing a helping hand to youth that are working hard to attain a better life for themselves.”
Children and staff at Cleveland’s clubs use the new technology for various programs.
“We are running a program called Kid College. Kids choose their grade level and select math, reading or science. The program learns as the children answer questions,” Thompson said.
Difficulty increases as correct answers are submitted. Incorrect answers decrease the level of difficulty. Reports are sent each week from the computer programs to Thompson. He is able to see how well a student is doing.
“It shows us which areas they are struggling in,” Thompson said.
“Say Jonny is struggling with fractions, then we can go into the program and assign fraction questions to pop up 90 percent of the time.”
Thompson said it is important for children to learn how to handle technology.
“We have two technology programs here at the club for our members: Skill Tech I and Skill Tech II,” Thompson said.
Tech I focuses on the basics of Microsoft Office. The next course focuses on what is inside of a computer. Members learn the parts of a computer, how the parts work together and how to build one from the ground up. All members from age 6-18 can join the programs.
Thompson said the technology is used every day.