Gloria Willis takes care of nine kids in her home near L.H. Williams Elementary in Macons Pleasant Hill neighborhood.
She was with her grandson Miles at a parent-teacher organization meeting at the school this week. The evening featured skits put on by the schools third- and fourth-graders, emphasizing the need for healthy breakfasts, sleep, study habits and parent involvement. It also featured a presentation by Mary Robinson, Bibb County program manager for Connect2Compete.
Robinsons goal is to connect interested families with low-cost computers and Internet service.
Last year, 96 percent of Williams Elementary students -- mostly black and low-income -- qualified for free lunches, Robinson said. These are the students and families most in need of affordable computers and Internet service and are the ones Robinson is targeting in her work, which has taken her to every school in Bibb County, she said.
Shirley Askew met with Robinson after the PTO meeting to sign up her home for the program. Last year she registered with Connect2Compete but remembered earlier this week that she still needed to get set up with a computer and Internet.
Askew said she wants a computer in her home for her grandson Ethan and is interested in the offer from Quality Computer Systems in Macon for $150 desktop systems and $199 laptops. The offer is valid for all households in the 31201, 31204, 31206, and 31217 zip codes, limited to one system per household.
Willis said the nine children in her house all could benefit from access to a computer and the Internet.
When asked how she manages such a large family, she responded, with lots of prayer.
Saturday, Connect2Compete will partner with several Macon organizations to provide free digital training at four locations between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Volunteers will be available at the Washington Memorial Library, the Buck Melton Center, the Family Investment Center and Central Georgia Technical College. For more information call 478-719-7597.
To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 477-4382.