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Lehigh Valley area school district scores surplus IT equipment for students

Members of the Pa. Air National Guard’s 111th Attack Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pa., provide the transportation and muscle to move more than 300 computers and monitors to the Whitehall-Coplay Middle School in Whitehall, Pa., from the Horsham AGS as part of the DOD’s Computers For Learning program on March 18, 2016. The middle school, serving nearly 1,100 students from 6 – 8 grade, will be using the systems to enhance their classroom learning experience. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum)

Members of the Pa. Air National Guard’s 111th Attack Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pa., provide the transportation and muscle to move more than 300 computers and monitors to the Whitehall-Coplay Middle School in Whitehall, Pa., from the Horsham AGS as part of the DOD’s Computers For Learning program on March 18, 2016. The middle school, serving nearly 1,100 students from 6 – 8 grade, will be using the systems to enhance their classroom learning experience. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum)

HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, Pa -- Whitehall-Coplay Middle School in Whitehall, Pennsylvania received more than 300 surplus or excess military computers and monitors on March 18 after successfully applying through the DOD's Computers For Learning program.

Gathering in the school's main entrance, Peter Bugbeep, school principal, and an estimated 40-excited students with immediate family military association, cheered as members of the 111th Attack Wing's Logistics Readiness Squadron provided the movement and muscle to deliver the components from the base.

The DOD CFL program was created to provide useful information technology equipment to schools and educational non-profit organizations serving grades pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

"More and more, instruction in the classroom is computer based," said Bugbeep. "This will be another avenue to bring technology into the classroom as many of our books are now online.

"Going at it from a military perspective, I knew that there'd be some paperwork involved," Bugbeep, an Army veteran added. "Pack some patience, know you could do it, and add positive thinking and you're there. There were some great supports structures along the way."

The computers had undergone a once-over inspection to ensure that there would be no security violations before handing them over to the school.

"Computers slated for replacement have their hard drives removed, degaussed [files/operating system eliminated] and turned in for destruction," said Chief Master Sgt. Harley Delp, superintendent of plans with the 111th Communications Flight here. "Procedures are in place to make sure all government-related information is removed and hard drives are turned in for destruction to ensure no information on the computers is available prior to release of the equipment for turn-in."

As stewards of the environment, Delp also added that providing a reuse avenue for these computers and monitors helps to save them from possibly being diverted to already overflowing landfills.

These computers were specified to ensure that they would work with the operating systems the school was using.

"With the onset of the [Microsoft] Windows 10 operating system, we checked with our IT department to make sure the items selected would be compatible," said Bugbeep.

"Once your school has applied and been approved for participation in the program, it's easy to search the Defense Logistics Agency's disposition service inventories that meet your specific needs"  said Master Sgt. Joe Sommers, flight chief with the 111th LRS, key deliverer and Whitehall school system graduate as well. 

"We're thankful for the systems to help our school and district. Who knows the service that this equipment has provided to our brave men and women in uniform," Bugbeep said. "On behalf of a grateful community and nation, I thank them, our [service members]."

To learn more about the DOD's CFL program and how it could possibly benefit your school, visit https://computersforlearning.gov