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May 2012 . WV Broadband Opportunities Program . www.futurewv.org
By February 2013, the $4.4 million federal grant to establish computer centers in West Virginia fire departments will come to an end.
Once the money is gone, the fire departments will take ownership of their computer centers and sustain them so that the public can continue to learn skills through the high speed Internet the centers provide.
This was the purpose of a conference held on April 27 at the Holiday Inn Suites in Charleston.
Sharon Bonnett, the computer center mentor at the Banks District Volunteer Fire Department, resides in the tight-knit community of Rock Cave in Upshur County.
Sharon grew up on a farm near Mill Creek in Randolph County and was one of 12 children. She learned "true work ethic" on the farm because they worked together as a family.
"So began my life as a volunteer." Sharon concluded.
On April 20th, Volunteer Fire Department and EMS Computer Center mentors from around the state convened at Stonewall Jackson Resort in Roanoke, WV for a two-day technology training.
The training prepared mentors on how to teach elements of technology to local youth at their fire departments/EMS this summer. The tech camps, scheduled for Summer 2012, will be geared towards kids 9-13 years old and will focus on technology skills like computer programming, photography, graphic design, and computer repair.
Nearly 200 residents of the three closely-linked communities of Bartow, Frank, and Durbin came out to support their fire department in a fundraising event on April 29.
The event, which raised over $1,000 for the Bartow-Frank-Durbin Fire Department, featured great food and door prizes, along with a cake auction and a 50/50 drawing.
The Lincoln EMS officially opened their public computer center on April 26 at 1959 McClellan Highway in Ranger, WV. The open house had a great turnout as residents of the community came out to learn more about the free classes offered.
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