• Patriot touchdowns score school computers
    By SARAH HINCKLEY Herald Staff | January 05,2008
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    Ramona and Harry Potter are going to have to make room for more characters in the Sherburne Elementary School computer lab.

    Thanks to a Massachusetts company, nine new computers are due to be delivered to the mountain school on Jan. 16.

    Kaspersky Lab, a leading provider of Internet security software, has teamed up with the New England Patriots Radio Network for Touchdowns for Technology, a program that will give eight New England schools as many new computers among them as the Patriots make touchdowns. This season the Patriots scored a total of 75 touchdowns.

    In the computer lab at Sherburne Elementary, the computers, on average at least 10 years old, are named after book characters. The room, located next to the library, is well-packed with equipment. Adding more computers may pose a challenge, but the school is more than willing to accommodate its good fortune.

    "I think technology is so important," said Sandy Farbman, who wrote the essay that qualified the school for the program. "I got inspired and motivated by everyone who works here and gives 110 percent."

    Farbman highlighted three reasons the school could use new computers: to fully meet information technology standards as described in the Vermont Framework, be competitive in a technological world, and collaborate with students across cultural and national boundaries.

    Cultural awareness at Sherburne is a strong part of instruction; the school has had visiting teachers from Thailand and Korea.

    "It was the school's vision, everybody works hard and does their part," said Farbman, who teaches special education at the school. "We're very interested in our kids being able to get their hands on the latest software."

    Farbman has been invited to Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots, to receive a plaque and meet one of the players at a Touchdowns for Technology ceremony.

    "I'm an avid Patriots fan," said Farbman, who was crossing her fingers that quarterback Tom Brady would be the player in attendance — or a pair of Super Bowl tickets is stuck to the back of her plaque.

    There are 35 computers at the school that are used by the 77 students, from kindergarten through sixth grade, as well as teaching staff. Two of those students will travel to Gillette Stadium with Farbman to represent Sherburne Elementary.

    "Sandy's done a wonderful job of making sure her students can benefit from the technology we have here," said Principal Loren Pepe. "We really are relying on the generosity of others to help us stay current with technology. If we get new computers, they'll have to get new names."

    Contact Sarah Hinckley at sarah.hinckley@rutlandherald.com.
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