Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Computers 4 Kids Washington
May 9, 2000

David, thank you for those kinds words.

And I want to thank ITEC and all of the businesses represented here today. I also want to thank every individual involved with Computers 4 Kids Washington because without you, our "Computer 4 Kids Washington" program never would have been the success it's been in Eastern Washington. And I wouldn't have the pleasure of announcing today that "Computers 4 Kids Washington is now a statewide program!!!

When I traveled to Airway Heights two years ago to launch "Computers 4 Kids Washington," we couldn't have predicted that it would be so successful. In two short years, we've installed over 3,200 refurbished and upgraded computers in our schools.

Western Washington is now joining in the program. Edmonds Community College and Grays Harbor Community College will begin training inmates from Monroe Correctional Facility and Stafford Creek Correctional Facility in Aberdeen.

In the workplace, computers are as essential as the telephone. In schools, computers are becoming as essential as notebooks and pencils. So "Computers 4 Kids Washington" take old computers from business storerooms, bring them to inmates who refurbish the computers, and then deliver those computers to our schools where teams of students get the computers up and running. Our goal is to prepare 10,000 more computers for kids.

And the great thing about "Computers 4 Kids Washington," is that everyone benefits. Businesses that donate the computers get tax credits. Inmates who refurbish the computers learn computer and job skills. Students learn, hands on, how to get computers up and running. Our schools get much-needed computers.

And then it circles right back to the businesses; the businesses benefit from an education system that teaches the skills our kids need to fill the high-tech jobs our businesses are creating. We all know that a healthy economy leads to a higher quality of life, happy strong families and a brighter future.

Speaking of a bright future, I met several students today. Susan La from Franklin High School, Ben Moran from Chief Sealth High School and Sam Oli and Shawn Schmidt from the Puyallup tribal school. Thank you! Thank you and your teams for installing the computers, but also for being role models for other kids.

I also met the teachers who advise these teams today - Helen Anderson and Steve Simmons. Helen and Steve, thank you for mentoring our kids.

I also want to thank Don Brunell of the AWB and Phil Bussey of the Washington Roundtable for rallying support from the business community.

And I'd like to thank every business that has stepped up and gotten involved in "Computers 4 Schools Washington," Cisco in particular. AT&T donated $20,000 to the project in the early stages.

I'd like to thank Lou August with the Wilderness Technology Alliance and thanks to the Alliance for Education for helping to distribute computers in Western Washington.

Joe Lehman and the Department of Corrections have been instrumental in this project, as have Superintendent of Schools Terry Bergeson and Charlie Walker with Seattle Schools.

The Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation, Gayle Stevenson and David Bosch in particular, thank you.

There are so many more people who deserve thanks because this is such a true partnership between businesses, schools, communities and government working together toward a common goal of making sure our kids are up to speed. This is Washington working as a team.

Our kids' world moves so much faster than the world we grew up in. Computers 4 Kids Washington is making sure our kids have the tools they need to become tomorrow's leaders.

Thank you very much.
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