Description of the The EvenStart Technology Upgrade Project
 
Nature of the Project:
  
  When EvenStart opened its doors to children at risk in 1995, one of the main pillars (in establishing a well-developed educational service) was the discerning use and integration of technology in the programs we delivered. We realized one of our important goals was to familiarize these children with computers and their role in promoting inquiry and self-determined learning. By exposing these children to technology, we help to place them on a more equal footing with their peers for entrance into Grade One, as per our social action mandate. The computers and specialized educational programs also provided additional remedial support for our on-site specialists (teachers, speech and occupational therapists, psychologists, etc.), working with individual children who suffer moderate to severe speech, memory retention, and cognitive challenges. We found that a wide variety of beneficial and effective forms of clinical therapy for a child can be insightfully managed through comprehensive computer interventions.
    
  Our original installation of 12 desktop computers has served us well over our years of operation, but the advent of the Internet, better and faster operating systems, the benefit of data management and system networking, as well as the new availability of much improved specialized software in the area of special needs education, has made computer upgrading a priority project for us in 2005. We have exhausted both the hardware capabilities and technical support costs to maintain and patch the systems to where they no longer adequately meet the actual needs of these children and the beneficial therapies that can be effected by these tools by our professional staff. We have approximately 200 children in need who can considerably benefit from this project outcome for years to come.
    

We are currently in negotiation for the replacement of 12 computers from surplused inventories within various Calgary Corporations. Once donated, they must undergo migration to a common operating platform and networking arrangement to economically and effectively sustain their updates and maintenance.

As well, specialized educational software must be acquired to make these tools fully effective in our efforts to provide equalizing educational services to these children suffering from poverty and neglect.

These children have no experience with real-world technology interface that their peers take for granted. To be ready on a par with their counterparts, to enter school be provided the same opportunity to succeed, these children must have developed problem solving skills of logical reasoning and critical thinking, as well as a facility for technology that is taken for granted by society, our schools and future employers as required for practical learning and personal progress.
   
 The project costs associated with the specialized software acquisition, and the required computer installation, setup and networking is estimated as follows:
  
 We must purchase Pre-School preparatory software that offers exploratory and practice within varying levels of difficulty for child development of language, reading, speech, computational, reasoning, etc. skills, as well as the capability for individuated and class progress reporting features.
  
 To this end the following project costs have been determined:
  
  

Acquisition of learning spectrum software programs.
21 @ network license fee for 12 PC stations =



$3,679

Technical Support for migration, networking and implementation.

$1,500 ($1000 of the total estimated $2,500 fee is being donated by the Systems Group with whom we have negotiated)

Acquisition of ancillary hardware parts (routers, cables, server hard drive, printer, etc.)



$890

Total Project Costs:

$6,069.00

To help support this project goal, please speak with EvenStart's Fund Development contacts!