Root122: Building Community, One Computer at a Time

First-Computer-Ever-Donated-225x300 It was only a few years ago that designing video games and building computers were left to those with masters degrees or expertise in computer science. However, the tide has changed in recent years. The impressive scholars of a unique club called Root122 at Uplift Summit International Preparatory are designing their very own web pages, creating video games and renovating old computers to restore them to near new conditions. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, they are giving them away to families who are in need of a computer.

Led by technology teacher, Thomas Davenport, Root122 is a three-year old club where scholars in grades 6 through 8 learn the value of community service, while learning to make video games and build computers. Scholars take old machines that are donated to the club, renovate them and give them out to families who do not have a computer and need one. Everyone wins. They even run their very own website that details the great activities of Root122. Scholars are constantly learning how to apply their knowledge of technology in a way that is beneficial for the community and themselves.

“The thing I hear most often from parents about Root122 is not how much their kids love it, but how much they love that their kids are learning to serve others.” Says Mr. Davenport.

After many hours of dedication and hard work, Root122 gave away its very first renovated computer this past month. It came complete with the open-source operating system, Ubuntu, new parts, educational software and an outer makeover. The computer was put together by the scholars who learned how to install the operating system, upgrade the video card and even spray painted the outer box to give the computer a new look. They also took meticulous notes to prepare a training session for the computer’s future owner.

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“Root122 uses kids’ love for video games and computers to make awesome charity for those who need it and then later club members can use what they learn to help them in the real world.” Says 6th grader Adrian Lopez.

Root122 hopes to replicate this process and renovate many more computers in the near future. In fact, with the help of donations, the scholars of Root122 hope to build a computer for every family in the 6th grade that is in need of one by the end of the spring semester. The scholars are dedicated to making technology accessible to all. They welcome any computer donations in order to help them reach their goal. In the near future, Root122 is looking to expand this great program to other Uplift campuses as well as establishing some corporate partners.

“It’s a jump start for technology people my age. I love how it’s a charity giving away free computers. It means a lot to me. I would suggest this club to many other people.”  Says 6th grader Tiry Brazzle.

Root122 provides an excellent outlet for scholars to demonstrate and practice their technical skills. If you are interested in checking out the wonderful abilities of these bright scholars firsthand, Root122 will be demonstrating how to make video games and bring computers back from the dead at the Uplift Science Fair at UT Southwestern on Saturday, January 25th. Come show support for the great service these scholars are doing for the greater community!

Please contact tdavenport@uplifteducation.org for more information on how to help these scholars continue their efforts to help others access technology.

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