a warm evening in July, three kids, each accompanied by at least
could be seen carrying computers and printers
from the chaplains’ house on Main Street.
kids were graduates of the first Learning Connection class, sixth-graders
School in Bethlehem. The adults helping
them were their parents and a representative of the company that
donated the hardware, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., as part
of its Computers for Kids program.
Learning Connection (known on campus as TLC) is the special baby
of community-service coordinator
Phyllis Walsh. The Moravian
students who had been TLC mentors worked for three years with
these children, tutoring them as needed and introducing them
life and age-appropriate extracurricular activities as an incentive
to stay in school.
Rivera, for example, was chosen for TLC through a program at
Lincoln that identifies children
with the potential to go
to college. Her mentor was Danielle Joseph ’02, a recent
graduate in Spanish and political science.
was more than a tutor, said Nixsaly, who (like the others) is
entered the seventh grade at Northeast
in Bethlehem this 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.”
TLC kids aren’t at-risk students in the sociological sense,
said Walsh. They’re smart kids with home problems
that tax their learning skills. At least two in this group
handicapped sibling who requires much of the family’s
quality time and often much of its financial resources
as well. And there
are students like Nixsaly, whose mother, Lissette Martinez,
is a student in her own right, working on a degree in early
education at Northampton Community College.
TLC students who got their computers this summer—and their
parents—also got some concentrated training from
Mike Preston ’01
is one of the outlets for Computers for Kids, explained Jim Yanora
of Air Products, who came along
for the giveaway.
recycled from Air Products offices that are being upgraded.
They come with printers and modems, though the kids’ parents
decide if they want to pay for an Internet hookup.
what use will they put their new computers? “My
Josh Meixell. “Games. Drawing. Writing essays
already has had a computer of her own, said her mother, but her
will allow her to
old one to
her cousin. “We’ll
pass it along, just like clothes,” she said.
Carlo Santiago III was the first to claim his
computer on that July afternoon, and he discovered
it took three
people to carry it: 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
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.