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COMPUTER DONATIONS

This is a Service to help local residents improve their local school systems. Surprisingly the public schools have a desperate shortage of computers. The oldest computer equipment in the entire county can be found today at use in our public schools.

STARS has had a number of successes with re-using old equipment, as some of our current projects indicate. This service will provide a steady source of old equipment for our students to use in building, rebuilding and learning the technologies, while providing a source of new equipment to our local schools.

Key Benefits

Citizens can donate unwanted equipment for a Federal Income Tax deduction
Students can continue to learn how different hardware components connect and operate. They have also been pressed to find useful applications which these old "unusable" systems can operate suitably for younger children.
More excess inventory will be put to use in our public schools enhancing the development of the student and faculty learning abilities.
Students can be awarded equipment, &/or obtain the use of computer equipment. This will to help develop new projects, allow then to learn and teach instructional software, and be allow them to develop their own software and technologies.

Capabilities

This is an entirely new function and service of our organization. During the summer of 1997 ERCCD needed to clear some of the older equipment they were unable to use. Lewis Elementary provided the opportunities to put this equipment to use. The Florida State guidelines required the transfer of equipment ownership before any equipment could leave the USF Campus. STARS' tax exempt status provided the vehicle for meeting these necessary requirements allowing the students to take the opportunities presented to them.

Capability 1
501(c)3 IRS Tax Exemption- This status was attained by the founding students, involved USF and Tampa Community Professionals. They dedicated several years to meet all the requirements, but the current student and faculty membership have not used it excessively. It provides a method to utilize, operate and transfer resources between public entities. Just as being a student at USF, provides you "membership" to the recreation center, library and other resources and facilities on Campus.
The STARS Tax exemption allows for the use of other public, governmental and educational resources. As a student can borrow a book, in the same way STARS can use a truck, or park, or building. In 1986 USF students used the STARS exemption to use Jones Intercable's Public Broadcasting equipment to video tape the ARCE Show, several dance performances and even tried out a USF News program. Subsequent years students received public grants and had other benefits.
Capability 2
Donated Computers- The increased access to donated equipment will allow us to develop more "summer shop" programs, build more elaborate and interesting computer systems and networks, as well as test and develop our own interests. During the 96-97 school year a 5th and 6th grader used some excess computers to learn and then teach how to operate some children's programs.
Having good equipment at our public schools is only half the problem. Faculty have to learn the software before they can use it effectively. Providing Faculty access to computers is a start, giving teachers classes to learn the software is also just a start, but finding the time???
When a STARS computer is used, the publicly provided software is already all setup. Students can then learn and test the programs at home on their own time. This proved a great value to Mrs. Van De Boe's first grade class. When the 5th grade A-Student, Tara Murphy, came to her class a few hours a week to teach and help student learn to spell and write on the computers.
Capability 3
Increased Knowledge- As a greater number of citizens, businesses and students learn of the operations of STARS the capability we have to help others to learn greatly increases. Not only can new students develop an understanding of computer components and configuration procedures, but they also can test new technologies, operation systems and software.

Reference Accounts

Several Community organizations have already contributed to STARS. Any equipment, resources or service may be donated for a tax deduction of the appraised retail values.

Reference 1
The Hillsborough County School Board
Reference 2
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners
Reference 3
The City of Tampa
Reference 4
The University of South Florida

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Copyright 1997 STARS USA Inc
Last modified: November 06, 1997