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About Learning To Be The Light

Learning To Be The Light began in August 2011 as a blog by Hoover resident Robin Schultz designed to bring to the attention of the public that not all Hoover City School students had access to broadband.

The goal of the blog, entitled "Let's GET HOOVER ONLINE", was to have the three major broadband providers in Hoover, Alabama, provide low-cost internet access to those families who had students in the Hoover City School system who qualified under the federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program.  Initially all three broadband providers in Hoover, AT&T, Charter Communications, and Brighthouse Networks declined to even entertain the concept of providing low-income families cheap broadband access ($10.00/mo.), similar to what Comcast Communications had done in those markets that they served.

After communicating with local, state and federal officials, some progress was made, but not the ultimate goal.  Unbeknownst to Let's GET HOOVER ONLINE and staff members of officials, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was implementing their own mandated plan to require all broadband companies to provide a low-cost plan to eligible students.  This mandate was announced in November 2011.

That took care of the broadband issue, but it didn't address entirely the equipment issue.  These students still needed a way to get on the internet if they didn't have a computer.

At about the same time as the Let's GET HOOVER ONLINE action was taking place, Robin, who was also the founder of the Bluff Park Neighborhood Web Site was approached by the directors of the newly formed Artists on the Bluff facility in Bluff Park (formerly the Bluff Park Community School).  Robin was asked to help install wi-fi access to the new facility, and to maintain the Artists on the Bluff computer lab.  Schultz works as a system engineer and computer consultant, so he has an extensive background in these areas.

Robin, along with company intern Olivia Lenamond, a Hoover High School senior, came up with the idea of Learning To Be The Light, or LTBTL, as it came to be known.  LTBTL would use the Artists on the Bluff computer lab to refurbish computers and prepare them for usage by low-income Hoover City School families.  The computers would be given to LTBTL by people who no longer had a need for them.

  Once a PC had been given to LTBTL, Robin and Olivia would evaluate the PC, remove any existing data still left on the PC, then begin the refurbishing process.  In 2013, LTBTL became a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, which gave them the ability to install Windows 7 Professional and Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business at a reduced cost, as long as the computers went to qualifying students.  The total cost for both licenses, which are full, non-expiring licences, is $12.00, which LTBTL pays for with contributions from the community. 

Once a PC has been refurbished, Robin and Olivia deliver the computer, as well as a monitor, and, if available, a printer and wireless router, to a qualifying student, and then set it up for them at no cost.  The PC and other equipment is the student's to keep. 

Student's names are provided by Hoover City School principals.

The name "Learning To Be The Light" comes from a song by the group Newworldson.  The song is based on the Bible verse in Matthew 5:16, and truly fitting for the LTBTL project.

 

 

If you have equipment that you'd like to give, but are unsure if we can use it, send us an e-mail to info@learningtobethelight.org with details of what you have, and we'll let you know if we can use it.  For more information on this, go to the LTBTL Project page. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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