Assembly Member Mary Hayashi and Bret Harte Middle School Celebrate Opening of Netbook Lab

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Hayward school receives GTECH After School Advantage Program grant to bridge the digital divide.

Thanks to GTECH, Hayward students will have a great opportunity to use technology to advance their education, learn about the world, and make a difference for their communities.--Assembly Member Mary Hayashi

Assembly Member Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at Bret Harte Middle School to celebrate the opening of their newly-renovated Netbook computer lab.

After being nominated by Assembly Member Hayashi, Bret Harte won a GTECH After School Advantage Program grant, providing for $20,000 in computer lab renovations as well as the procurement of 40 new Netbooks and a projection screen, all of which will serve as an important resource for the school’s 640 seventh and eighth-graders.

“I’m pleased to have been able to help Bret Harte Middle School secure the technology grant it needed to support student learning and the success of their critically-need afterschool programs,” stated Assembly Member Mary Hayashi. “Thanks to GTECH, Hayward students will have a great opportunity to use technology to advance their education, learn about the world, and make a difference for their communities.”

Speakers at today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony included Denise Kimes, General Manager of GTECH California, Lisa Davies, Principal at Bret Harte Middle School, Dr. Donald Evans, Superintendent for the Hayward Unified School District, and Jermaine Clark, Student Councilmember at Bret Harte.

“Our teachers are now able to explore digital learning experiences for their students and develop new ways to weave computer skills seen as essential to this century’s work place into our student’s daily lesson,” stated Bret Harte Middle School principal, Lisa Davies. “Thank you to GTECH, Assembly Member Mary Hayashi, and Hayward Education Association President Mercedes Faraj for their support in acquiring this amazing technology grant for Bret Harte Middle School. Your gift has been transformational to our school and to our student’s future opportunities.”

This is the second computer lab that Assembly Member Hayashi has secured for the East Bay community. In June 2011, she worked with GTECH to obtain a similar grant for John Muir Middle School in San Leandro. Only about 100 of these grants have been made nationwide since the program began in 1999, making Bret Harte and John Muir Middle Schools exceptional leaders in leveraging technology to support after school programs.

GTECH is a leading gaming technology and services company, whose After School Advantage Program provides non-profit community agencies and public schools with state-of-the-art computer labs. Their initiative have given more than 20,000 children between the ages of 5-18 access to computers, providing an otherwise unavailable educational experience and bridging the digital divide among at-risk children.

Assembly Member Hayashi is the Chair of the Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee and serves the 18th Assembly District, which includes San Leandro, Hayward, Dublin, most of Castro Valley and Pleasanton, and a portion of Oakland, as well as the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo and Sunol.

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Chris Parman
Office of Assemblymember Mary Hayashi
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