Lt. Gov. Opens Computer Labs
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
DANVILLE - Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling joined state and local officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday to open a new computer lab at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Danville's Foster Street headquarters.
The lab was made possible by an After School Advantage Grant provide by GTECH, a gaming technology and services company in Providence, R.I.
Paul Stapleton, representing the corporation's Virginia operations, said the lab is the third of its kind in the state and the 155th throughout the country, giving an estimated 20,000 children access to computers.
Stapleton said the initiative began in 1999 to "enrich and strengthen communities where GTECH does business" and on average donates $15,000 in technology, software, furniture and employee volunteer hours to each lab.
"It's not just a monetary donation," he said. "We roll up our sleeves and get involved."
Stapleton said the company believes access to technology is a necessity for the growth and development of communities, and the grant is one way to ensure children have access to the technical world around them.
"GTECH's goal is to open the doors of opportunity by closing the digital divide," he said.
The new lab includes 10 computers in the Phil and Fran Daly Teen Center.
"These things make a difference in these kids' lives," said Boys and Girls Clubs executive director Don Nodtvedt.
Notvedt praised GTECH's involvement in after-school programs.
The director said 61 percent of Boys and Girls Club members maintained a "B" average or better last year.
"This grant allows us to take these nnmhfTs and these kids and make them even better," he said.
Bollling thanked GTECH as well as the after-school program.
The lieutenant governor reminded children of the importance of school.
"The most important thing you can do in life right now is get a good education," Bolling said. "Just leam as much as you can.
"We are very proud of you, and we are expecting great things from you."
GTECH was brought to Virginia after being contracted by Virginia Lottery to provide technical services.
Virginia Lottery executive director Paulo Otto was also on hand for the ribbon-cutting.
She pointed out the lottery, which was established in the 1980s, raises more than $400 million every year for the state's school systems.
Del. Danny Marshall, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was instrumental in applying and securing the grant for the Boys and Girls Clubs.
For additional information contact Ibbie Hedrick at 804-225-2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org.