User-Friendly

Josh Meixell  and Fernando Santiago, with his father and computer trainer Michael Preston ’01 of EDS, are among the TLC students who received computers from Air Products and Chemicals. Who were those kids carrying computers and printers from Koinonia House on a warm evening in July?

No, no. This wasn’t a laborious new way to make off with College property. These were graduates of the first Learning Connection (TLC) class, sixth-graders at Lincoln Elementary School in Bethlehem, who each received a computer as a tangible reward for their hard work. The adults helping them were their parents and a representative of the company that donated the equipment, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., as part of its Computers for Kids program.

The Moravian students who were TLC mentors had been working for three years with these 10 children, tutoring them as needed and introducing them to age-appropriate activities as an incentive to stay in school.

Nixsaly Rivera, for example, was chosen for TLC through a program at Lincoln School that identifies children with the potential to go to college. Her mentor was Danielle Joseph ’02, Easton, a recent graduate in Spanish and political science.

Danielle was more than a tutor, said Nixsaly, who (like the others) is 12 and will enter Northeast Junior High School in Bethlehem in the fall. “A tutor is just helping you learn things,” she explained. “With the mentor, you go different places, you learn what it’s like to be in a college setting, and you work on what needs improvement.”

The TLC kids aren’t at-risk students in the sociological sense, said Phyllis Walsh, who coordinates TLC. They’re smart kids with home problems that place added burdens on their learning skills. At least two have a severely handicapped sibling who requires much of the family’s quality time and often much of its financial resources. And there are students like Nixsaly, whose mother, Lissette Martinez, is a student in her own right, working on a degree in early childhood education at Northampton Area Community College.

TLC is one of the outlets for Computers for Kids, explained Jim Yanora of Air Products, who came along for the giveaway. The computers, built on Pentium II chips, are recycled from Air Products offices that are being upgraded. They come with printers and modems, but the children’s parents decide if they want to pay for an Internet hookup.

Nixsaly Rivera and her mother seem to be enjoying themselves In addition to the hardware, the TLC students and their parents got some concentrated training from Michael Preston ’01 of EDS.

To what use will they put their new computers? “My homework,” said Josh Meixell. “Games. Drawing. Writing essays and stuff.”

Nixsaly already has a computer of her own, said her mother, but her updated one will allow her to give the old one to her cousin. “We’ll pass it along, just like clothes,” she said.
Fernando Carlo Santiago III was the first to claim his computer on this afternoon, and he discovered that it required three carriers: He took the keyboard, his father (Fernando Carlo Santiago II) the monitor, Yanora the printer. This three-link human chain inched carefully down the narrow stairs of the old house on Main Street that holds TLC’s offices.

“Oh!” said Walsh as the Santiago procession left the building. “I must send everybody off with a hug.” And she ran down the stairs to catch up with them.

Keyboard virtuosos: Josh Meixell (top) and Fernando Santiago, with his father and computer trainer Michael Preston ’01 of EDS, are among the TLC students who received computers from Air Products and Chemicals. At bottom, Nixsaly Rivera and her mother seem to be enjoying themselves

August 13, 2002

University as Business, Students as Customers
An article by Richard Posner on the increasing corporate posture of colleges and universities.

User-Friendly
Air Products & Chemicals donates computers to students of TLC (The Learning Connection).

15 Minutes of Fame Department
Moravian alum David Zinczenko '91 named one of People magazine's 50 most eligible bachelors.
.

Musical Chairs
Moravians at Musikfest 2002
Gaudeamus
Faculty, staff, student accomplishments.