Thursday, June 16, 2011
Community corner: Allen's computer lab
By Greg Payne
DORCHESTER -- As part of the latest effort of his Ray of Hope Foundation, Celtics guard Ray Allen unveiled a state of the art computer lab at the Sarah Greenwood School on Thursday.
The new room, which was outfitted with 26 new computers, a smart board projector, new furniture, and an assortment of Celtics graphics along the wall, was put in place to grant the students of the school more access to technological devices that will help to further their education.
"Today was the unveiling of the computer lab at Sarah Greenwood School and it was a great day. We had an assembly for the third- through seventh-graders and it was one of the best ovations I've gotten," said Allen. "The energy was awesome when I walked in. But, to be able to come into the computer lab and see it for the first time and for the kids to come in and see it for the first time, it's certainly an amazing room."
Allen began his day at Sarah Greenwood by hosting an assembly for students in grades 3-7, where he emphasized education, hard work, and being assertive in the classroom. Allen then advanced upstairs to the new computer lab, where a select group of students was invited to use the new units for the first time. The students partook in short research assignments that called for them to use the computers to find specific information about some of the important locations in Allen's basketball career, including Milwaukee, Seattle, and, of course, Boston.
"Getting into the computers, there is an end game for them if they decide to really attack this, and they had a chance to sit down and go through the computers and talk with us, so that's what I love about kids and being able to share questions," Allen said. "Overall it was a great day and I think we get so much more out of it than the kids."
Allen said the positive longstanding effects from the computer lab separate such a project from other community events.
"We've had parties and done charity events, but this computer lab is always going to last," Allen said. "These kids are going to use it and they're going to move on and they're going to remember it always as something that helped them learn. They'll have something in their brain because of something they learned in here and they'll take it with them forever."
Allen stressed the importance of the correlation between new technology like the computers and the growth in education, not just in America, but around the world.
"Well I think with kids, they definitely don't realize, but we realize that these kids in this room -- if you think about the 30 or so kids that are in this room today, they're competing with a group of 30 kids from China, from Australia, from Great Britain, Germany, from all over the world," Allen explained. "If we're giving our kids the technology to compete, you grow up to be the future leaders of tomorrow, and if we don't have these technologies, you figure the education gap is going to be so much greater from American kids growing up to kids in Europe, kids in Asia, kids in Africa, all over the world. So, this is where we start prepping our kids with this technology, because we know they're getting it all over the world. Education-wise, we are behind, so it's important we catch up to the rest of the world because it's already one thing for our economy doing what it's doing for all of us, and we need to grow our kids so they can have better solutions for us growing in the future."
This is the second brand new computer lab the Ray of Hope Foundation has provided to a local school. Back on April 12, Allen unveiled the first new batch of computers at the Maurice J. Tobin School in Roxbury.
Greg Payne is a student intern for ESPNBoston.com