Beaumont – Lamar Institute of Technology donated 41 surplus computers, with keyboards and monitors to Odyssey Academy in Galveston to help the school update its equipment.

"The children and staff of Odyssey Academy are so thankful for the extremely generous donation," said Jennifer Goodman, Superintendent of Odyssey Academy Charter School.

"Odyssey educates approximately 360 children from three-year-olds in pre-kindergarten to 8th grade.  About 79 percent of our students come from low socio-economic families," Goodman said.

The school has a diverse student base, with an ethnic breakdown that is about 50 percent Hispanic, 25 percent African American and 25 percent Caucasian. "Most of our children do not have computer access at home," Goodman said. "Therefore, LIT’s donation will allow these children to learn about and use technology throughout their education. This will be a tremendous benefit to their education."

Odyssey Academy also loaded a printer and seven projectors while visiting Beaumont to get the equipment. The donation will allow Odyssey to start off 2008 with updated equipment in its classrooms.

"The bulk of the computers we have are severely out dated," said Matt Sherman, technology director of Odyssey Academy. The school has basically outgrown most of its computers, he said.

The school, which opened in 1999, served 350 students in pre kindergarten to eighth grades. "We have computers in every classroom," Sherman said.

The donation will allow the academy to rotate older computers out of service and replace that equipment with more up to date computers, Sherman said. "We have three to four computers in every classroom, a bulk of these will replace those, and we’ll be able to do more exciting things (with the computers)," he said.

The computers, including the keyboards and monitors, were valued at more than $66,000 when purchased new, said Dawana Whitmire, property inventory/fleet manager at LIT. "Most of these computers are anywhere from three- to five-years-old, and have depreciated in value, but that dollar amount is the price we paid for them new," Whitmire said.

"LIT is glad we can offer technical assistance to another school at no cost," said Chris Castillo, director of public relations and marketing at LIT.  "This donation will give students an opportunity to become more familiar with technology and help them obtain much needed computer skills," he said.