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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release October 24, 1997
                     VICE PRESIDENT GORE KICKS OFF  

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore today (10/24) kicked off the "Computers for Learning" program at a ceremony near the Washington Monument. This program is designed to donate surplus federal computer equipment to schools and educational nonprofits, giving special consideration to those with the greatest need.

"Many times, when the government buys a new computer, the old one goes on a shelf for months or years -- taking up space and costing us money," the Vice President said. "We want it to go right off of the shelf and right into our classrooms -- opening up cyberspace, and helping our students learn. That's what this program will do."

The "Computers for Learning" program is a unique partnership between federal agencies, schools and non-profits across the country to move more than 70,000 computers this year into our neediest classrooms. A number of transportation systems and movers have formed a partnership with the Department of Defense to transport donated computers free of charge from federal agencies to classrooms.

Schools and educational non-profits can sign up for the program via a new website at "". This website also includes information on how to find assistance if computers require upgrading and how to contact volunteers with technical computer knowledge. If a school or a non-profit does not have access to the Internet, it can register by calling a toll-free hotline at 1-888-362-7870.

All U.S. schools and educational non-profits serving pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students are eligible to receive equipment through the "Computers for Learning" program. Federal agencies will give highest preference to schools and educational non-profits with the greatest need. Special consideration will be given to schools and educational non-profits located in federal empowerment zones and enterprise communities.

"This program is good for our schools, good for our businesses, good for our government, and good for our children's future." the Vice President said. "It proves that we can truly reinvent our government -- to make it work better and cost less -- while investing in the world-class education our children deserve."

President Clinton defined the mission of "Computers for Learning" in Executive Order 12999, which states his goal -- "to ensure that American children have the skills they need to succeed in the information intensive 21st Century." The "Computers for Learning" program also contributes to President Clinton's Educational Technology Initiative, which promotes putting modern computer technology in every classroom, connecting classrooms to the Internet, training teachers to use these new technologies effectively, and creating innovative educational software.



October 24, 1997

Today, as part of Vice President Gore's ceremony, three Federal agencies are donating 140 excess or surplus computers to schools and educational nonprofits in the DC metropolitan area. The Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DoE), and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have made the first installment of over 70,000 Federal computers to be donated by Federal agencies over the next year through the "Computers for Learning" program. Children, ranging from kindergarten to special ed, in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia will benefit from these first donations. All of the 140 computers are 386's or better and, therefore, capable of connecting to the Internet.

The following schools and educational nonprofits are the recipients of today's donation. While these schools and educational nonprofits represent a children diverse ethnicities and across grades, all the recipients are all in need of additional computer equipment.

Federal Children's Center of Northern Virginia, Herndon, VA. DoD's donation of 15 computers will be used in the kindergarten program and as a teacher resource. These donated computers will add to the Center's 10 computers previously donated by the US Geological Survey.

Hybla Valley Elementary School, Alexandria, VA. DoE's donation of 10 computers will assist in lowering the school's computer to student ratio. The donated computers will be integrated into the language arts and reading programs and also assist student development of technical skills.

Shaw Junior High School, Washington, DC. DoD's donation of 10 computers will replace 10 of the 286 computers in Shaw's second lab. Shaw -- a District of Columbia public school -- currently has two computer labs. The first, a Title One lab, is used for skill development. The second lab is utilized by students and staff for computer assisted instruction.

Glen Burnie High School, Glen Burnie, MD. DoD's donation of 21 computers will replace older computers so that computer science classes can run more advanced software, for instruction in special education classes and by the Guidance Department to run career awareness packages for students.

Springarn High School, Washington, DC. Today the students of Springarn will receive 20 computers from DoJ.

Woodson High School, Washington, DC. Woodson is the recipient of 65 computers donated by DoJ and, as with all the other computers, delivered by the Computers for Learning Partnership.



(1) Computers for Learning will place hundreds of thousands of federal surplus computers in our Nation's classrooms and prepare our children to contribute and compete in the 21st century. Note: By the year 2000, an estimated 60 percent of new jobs in America will require advanced technological skills and computer know-how.

(2) The Computers for Learning website ( or toll-free hotline at (888) 362-7870:

ENABLES SCHOOLS AND NONPROFITS TO: Register to request surplus Federal computer equipment. One form for all Federal agencies means reduced hassle. Access a technology tutorial to create an overall plan for addressing computer needs, etc. Find assistance for computer upgrading (the website offers a state-by-state list of recyclers). Contact volunteers with technical computer knowledge (i.e, TechCorps).

ENABLES FEDERAL AGENCIES TO: Donate computers based upon need, including: whether a school or educational nonprofit is located within an empowerment zone or enterprise community, its computer-to-student ratio, etc. Reduce paperwork: the website provides agencies with a virtually paper-free system for donating computers. Automatically track donations. Save the Federal government tens of millions of dollars each year by reducing paper work and minimizing surplus computer inventory.

(3) Shipping Van Lines and DOD Offer Free Shipping!!

A number of transportation systems and companies have formed the Computers for Learning Partnership to ship donated Federal computers free of charge from Federal agencies to classrooms. The Partnership includes:


Eligible schools and educational nonprofits can receive surplus Federal computer equipment by following four simple steps:

  1. Register: Register your school or educational nonprofit on the Computers for Learning website located at If you do not have access to the Internet, you may designate an individual who does to register on your behalf and act as your official point of contact. This person could be a teacher who has Internet access at home, a member of your PTA, a board member, or any other individual you select. If you cannot find a person to register your school or educational nonprofit on the website, you can register by calling the toll-free hotline at (888) 362-7870.
  2. Receive Notification: When a Federal agency selects your school or educational nonprofit to receive a computer donation, that agency will notify your official point of contact by e-mail or letter. Because selection is based on need, notification times may vary.
  3. Accept the Donation: Accept the donation by signing and dating the bottom of the notification and returning it with a letter of acceptance written on your school or organization letterhead and signed by your Principal or Director. If you would like to inspect the donated property before accepting it, you can make arrangements to do so by contacting the Federal employee who sent you the notification.
  4. Pick up or Ship the Computers: You can pick up the computers from the donating agency yourself, or contact a member of the Computers for Learning Partnership to make arrangements for shipping.

The Computers for Learning program was established by Vice President Al Gore. It is funded by the Department of Energy. The agencies that supported the Office of the Vice President in developing the program include: the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Government Services Administration.

The following agencies contributed to the website design: the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Participation in the Computers for Learning program is open to all Federal agencies.