Community Service Day:
HSX Computerizes a Phila. Public School

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The staff of HealthShare Exchange (HSX) had another successful and gratifying community service day, this year, helping to install computers in a Philadelphia public school. On a warm August day, HSXers gathered at the Henry H. Houston Elementary School, located in the Mount Airy neighborhood of the city.

 

The historic school (named for the 19th Century railroad man, developer, and philanthropist) teaches kindergarten through eighth grade, but until this service day had only two computers to share between all of its students. HSX partnered again with the Philadelphia Children’s Foundation, which collects contributed computers from businesses and other sources. The foundation donates these machines, as well as books, to public schools within the Philadelphia School District. It installs internet-ready computers in the schools, and teaches computer literacy classes, including website development, coding, and 3D printing. The foundation also fosters IT clubs where students learn to service computers.

The HSX team cleaned up a large shipment of computers, imaged and installed hard drives, transported the equipment to classrooms throughout the school, connected all of the components, and tested the machines, including for working internet access. Teachers there that day setting up their classrooms for their arriving students were thrilled at having in-classroom computers for the first time.

The HealthShare Exchange team also completed set up of the school’s Apple Macintosh computer lab, checking each station, replacing equipment, and re-networking the machines. By the end of the day, the Houston School had 110 functioning computers, ready for their students as they matriculated the following week.

The local channel 6 ABC news affiliate was on hand to document the project and report it on the evening news. View the story.

Also, see the write-up in the Chestnut Hill Local.

Many thanks for the day to Jan Deruiter, who is the foundation’s executive director. And a special acknowledgement to Hal Augustine, Chairman of the Board at Philadelphia Children’s Foundation and HSX’s longtime project consultant, as well as to Fatima Coston, HSX’s administrative assistant, for masterfully organizing this worthy event.