New Kent technical center provides 20 middle schoolers with free refurbished computers

NEW KENT – On Saturday, Nov. 23, the Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center was buzzing with excitement as 20 New Kent Middle School students were handed refurbished computers free of charge.

The middle school students, who were identified by their school counselor as being in need of a computer, learned basic computer skills training and technical support before leaving the technical center with their new computers. Parents also received information on “Internet safety” and “parental controls."

All of the donated computers were refurbished by second year students enrolled in the Web and Game Design class at Bridging Communities, located at 7930 New Chipping Lane in New Kent. IT Specialist and Bridging Communities instructor Paula Canaday supervised the repair and refurbishment of the computers.

According to Bridging Communities Director Dr. Stephen Trexler, the computers are provided by the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment Program (VA STAR) administered through Prince William County Public Schools and its SPARK Education Foundation.

"What we do through the STEM Academy is give back to the community," Trexler told the New Kent School Board earlier this month. "Our motto is, 'Bridging communities in leadership and in service'."

The Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center, which opened in September 2012, is one of 22 Governor's STEM Academies in the state, and the first new technical center in Virginia in 20 years.

The center serves as a non-profit consortium, and includes: New Kent, Charles City, King William, King & Queen, and Middlesex County public schools.

For more information on Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center in New Kent County, please visit: http://www.bridgingcommunities.k12.va.us.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.