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Donation to bring computers to thousands of MNPS families

Oct. 1, 2015, 10:04 AM

On hand for the presentation of the computers were, from left, Kyle Dufresne, Dell; Joe Steele, Dell; John Lutz, Vanderbilt; John Manning, Jr., Ph.D., MBA, Vanderbilt; Tim Burleson, Dell; Ellen Lehman, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; Keith Durbin, director of Information Technology for Metro Government; Laura Hansen, Metro Nashville Public Schools; Andy Aylor, Metro Government; Zach Moore, Metro Government; and John Williams, Metro Nashville Public Schools. (photo by Anthony Scarlati)

A few thousand families in the Metro Nashville Public Schools system will now have computers at home, thanks to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s donation of 3,800 lightly used computers.

The computers were donated to a digital inclusion initiative sponsored by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which oversaw the refurbishment, imaging and distribution to lower income families from 18 schools in Nashville.

About 54,600 Davidson County homes and about 44 percent of Metropolitan Nashville Public School (MNPS) students’ homes lack Internet access, according to the Community Foundation.

Vanderbilt representatives recently joined those from Dell, the Community Foundation and other companies and organizations involved in the donation, including UPS, Workforce Nashville, Metro Nashville Public Library, Metro Nashville Government and MNPS, at a formal presentation of the computers to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

Dell provided logistics and project management for the effort.

They also wiped the Vanderbilt data off the computers and refurbished them in preparation for distribution to families in need.

John Manning, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Administrative Officer and senior associate dean for Operations and Administration at VUMC, said about 5,600 VUMC computers were replaced in the spring and 3,800 were able to be refurbished for the project.

“Many organizations came together to make this important project happen. When computers were replaced in the spring, there were many functioning computers that were retired.

“This is a win-win for Vanderbilt, and we’re grateful that Dell took the ball and connected us with the Community Foundation for this project,” Manning said.

“Vanderbilt is thrilled that some of its technological resources can help connect more families to training and social services,” said John Lutz, Vanderbilt’s vice chancellor for Information Technology. “We could not be happier to put these opportunities in the hands of those who previously had limited or no access.”

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