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LONSDALE HOMES RESIDENT ASSOCIATION, GERDAU PARTNER TO OPEN COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 24, 2014
For more information,
Contact: Amanda Shell Jennings
Elementary school-aged children in Lonsdale Homes will have free computer and Internet access and tutoring at the new Community Technology Center thanks to the Lonsdale Homes Resident Association, Gerdau and Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation.
“As the world becomes increasingly more dependent on technology, lack of access to computers and the Internet will negatively affect our children’s performance in school and future opportunities,” said Phyllis Patrick, president of the Lonsdale Homes Resident Association. “In a survey we issued earlier this year, 97 percent of parents saw a need for a technology center in Lonsdale Homes so their children would not fall behind.”
The survey also showed only 25 percent of those in the Lonsdale public housing development had access to the Internet at home.
To address this issue, the resident association approached Gerdau and Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) for help. KCDC provided project oversight and a space for the center, while Gerdau agreed to purchase the needed technology, an approximately $10,000 investment by the Lonsdale-based steel recycler.
“KCDC is proud of the Lonsdale Homes Resident Association for taking the initiative to improve their own community,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Alvin Nance said. “This technology center is a much-needed community resource for families in Lonsdale.”
On Monday, the resident association, KCDC and Gerdau hosted a ribbon-cutting with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Lonsdale Elementary School officials and elected officials present. Gerdau made a financial contribution that allowed for the purchase of five desktop computers, two wireless printers, three iPads and furnishings for use in the technology center. During designated after-school hours, volunteers from Leadership Knoxville and Gerdau will provide mentoring.
“Our facility has been located in the Lonsdale community for more than 110 years,” Gerdau Vice President and General Manager John Miller said. “Gerdau has a strong relationship with the Lonsdale community, and many of our more than 200 employees live in Lonsdale with their families. We are pleased to be able to support this technology center to ensure our friends and neighbors have the tools for their children to succeed.”
Lonsdale Elementary School Principal Amy Brace also attended the ceremony and said the technology center would have a direct impact on helping children succeed in the classroom. Brace provided counsel on the best setup and programs to use in the center.
“The Lonsdale Community Technology Center will level the playing field for those who don’t have home access to a computer and ensure that every student, regardless of income or background, can succeed,” Brace said. “Tutoring and mentorship in technology also will help our students.”
Parents can sign up their children to use the technology center at the Lonsdale Homes Resident Association office, which is co-located with the facility at 1956 Goins Drive, #146. The number of students using the computers at any given time will be limited to allow one-on-one mentoring by volunteers. Parents and volunteers can register by calling 865-249-8960.
The Lonsdale Community Technology Center will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. and also will be available for limited hours over the summer break for student use.
KCDC is the housing authority and redevelopment agency for Knoxville. Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. For more information, visit http://www.kcdc.org.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has over 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has around 140,000 shareholders.
For more information, visit http://www.gerdau.com/longsteel.