Donated computers will help recreation activities

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension Serviceis taking part in continuing computer literacy and ultimately otherleisure activities in Lincoln County by donating old computers tothe Brookhaven Recreation Department.

Extension Service Director Rebecca Bates said statewide, theservice is donating several hundred used computers to stateagencies of varying descriptions. She said it’s not as easy as justhanding them over to the recreation department, however.

“They updated our computers around six months ago, and they’vehad some computer services that have cleaned them up so we candonate them, but there is a process,” said Bates.

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Statewide, Mississippi Emergency Management is issuing thecomputers to other state agencies based on need, and many of themare going to law enforcement agencies. However, Bates said the twobeing donated by the Lincoln County Extension Service are between8-10 years old, and she believes local law enforcement probablyneeded something a little more updated.

“I didn’t think the law enforcement here could use somethingthat old, and I was talking to (BRD Director) Terry (Reid) and hesaid he thought he could use them in their computer lab,” saidBates.

Reid said recreation department officials are grateful for thedonation, as BRD holds computer classes to help teach people how touse computers, as well as just allowing those who don’t have themat home access to the Internet, word processing and other importantprograms.

“We’re going to use them to let people work on them, to get theexperience of using them,” he said. “It’s a big help for them thatdon’t have them.”

One of the computers could potentially be used to help duringthe hectic baseball and T-ball season, Reid said. Recreationdepartment officials could update the status of upcoming gamesstraight from the baseball field.

“We might put one at the complex to mark up rainouts and thatkind of thing, too,” he said. “You could just go online to the Website and it’ll tell you it’s rained out instead of everyone tryingto call the same number at once to see what’s going on.”

Reid said the donation is a valuable one not only in theservices the computers will provide, but also in that it’s moneythe department can use for other things.

“That just keeps us from having to buy some, so we can put ourmoney into children playing instead of having to buy newcomputers,” he said.

Bates said if there are extras left over statewide, they mightbe distributed to other counties than the ones from which they weredonated.

“There might be additional computers at Mississippi State, ifthere are some left over we could possibly distribute them to otheragencies like area law enforcement if they’re needed,” shesaid.