After-School Learning

Four hard drives fill a table at the Alliance Recreation Center. Box Butte County donated the computers from surplus equipment stored at the courthouse. ARC Director Mara Anderson said the computers will be used for the after school program, which was started this school year.

Everybody knows the Box Butte County Courthouse has four floors. The jail cells are still there from back before workers built the Law Enforcement Center. Nobody sleeps on the spare bunks anymore though; ask the four extra computers and monitors that used to live there.

Commissioner Susan Lore facilitated donation of the hardware to the Alliance Recreation Center’s after school program. She, along with the rest of the board (Mike McGinnis and Doug Hashman) approved the donation at their regular meeting Feb . 4. Mara Anderson and Olivia Wilson, from the ARC, were present to enlist their support.

Anderson said that they would love to grow the program with a tech component. “If you have a surplus of computers we’d be interested,” she said.

Lore commented that it would be wise to use extra computers stored upstairs, there following recent upgrades. County Clerk Judy Messersmith confirmed the towers have “no confidential information on them.”

Alliance High School provides tablets for every student. However, Anderson said she doesn’t know if they need a 1:1 ratio for youth at the ARC. As of the meeting they had 13 children from Alliance Public Schools as well as St. Agnes Academy and the Immanuel Lutheran School attending with two more students planning to start.

Wilson said students arrive following their daily school schedule for the two-hour program and spend 30 minutes on homework at the ARC, in addition to time for a craft and other activities and presentations from local organizations. Keep Alliance Beautiful is a regular presenter. Earlier this year The American Legion showed how to fold the flag.

Rather than a one-time contribution Anderson termed the county’s gesture as their latest partnership.

The computers were on an office desk at the recreation center later that week waiting to be installed.

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