U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

GSA Blog

GSA Blog Logo

GSA's Computers for Learning Program: The Art of Being an Economic Catalyst

| Ann P. Kalayil, Regional Administrator, Great Lakes Region
Post filed in: Computers for Learning  |  GSA Feature  |  Technology

Growing the General Services Administration (GSA) into an Economic Catalyst requires a lot of big-picture thinking to help empower local economies. GSA's Computers for Learning (CFL) program lets us be an Economic Catalyst on the ground in local schools and eligible community groups, creating tangible and sustainable change within communities just like yours.

Since October 2015, schools in Indiana had already received 103 pieces of equipment through CFL. Yesterday, that number went up to 128 when I had a chance to deliver 25 computers from the CFL program to Jefferson Elementary School of the Gary Community School Corporation in Gary, Ind. Gary's Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt, Principal Michael Buckner and many students met us with joy as we entered the school with these laptops. Students like JRC and Donovan were so excited that their school would now have the necessary technology to help them develop skills for their career aspirations.

The students immediately put their new technology to use by launching GSA's Fine Arts Collection website to explore art created by African American artists in honor of African American History Month. Students shared their observations on the works of artists like Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden whose art focuses on the African American community and family. Their observations on the texture and the underlying social commentary of the artwork impressed Mayor Freeman-Wilson and the rest of us. The teachers and students expressed how they could utilize the website for upcoming African American History Month projects.

Our efforts to recycle computers through GSA's surplus equipment donation program expands upon the investment GSA makes in communities across the country. The CFL program helps ensure our nation's youth have access to resources that will help them compete and achieve in the 21st Century. The program also provides a fiscally and environmentally responsible way for federal agencies to give new life to gently used IT equipment.

The school's mission statement, proudly displayed on the wall as we entered Jefferson Elementary, states their “philosophy reflects the belief that all children can learn.” Here in the GSA Great Lakes Region, we share in that belief and are proud to support the communities working tirelessly to make it a reality. This vision is not limited within GSA. In fact, over the weekend President Obama announced Computers Sciences for All Initiative. For more information, go here: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2016/01/30/computer-science-all.