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Tuesday, July 04, 2006 

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 - Philipsburg, St. Maarten, N.A.

Richardson to equip 100 students with computers

~ Donates salaries to help youngsters ~PHILIPSBURG--Stressing the importance of education and being technologically smart, National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament and Island Councilman Frans Richardson announced a goal to equip 100 students with computers by the end of August.

New flat-screen computers will be donated to students age 10 to university age via the newly-organised Frans Richardson Educational Foundation. As start-up funds, Richardson funnelled his Island Council salary of NAf. 1,100 and Parliament salary of approximately NAf. 7,000 for July into the foundation.

Richardson has donated his salary for July, when the council is in recess, to charity every year since becoming an Island Councilman in July 2003. He became a Member of Parliament this year.

The foundation will also approach the business community to donate funds to achieve its goals for computer education, Richardson said.

He said each child who is interested in receiving computers must put his or her name, address and telephone number in an envelope addressed to Richards and leave it at the Parliament Building on Back Street. Only one computer will be donated per household.

Foundation members, who will be introduced to the public in August, will screen the applications and select students to undergo a six-week, intensive computer and Internet usage course slated for a venue in Philipsburg, Richardson said at a press conference Sunday afternoon.

He explained that the decision to give the computers to the youngsters instead of the schools stemmed from the foundation wanting to increase the time youngsters spend using the computers.

The foundation will also contact the local Internet providers to design Internet packages to suit the computer recipients’ needs and their parents’ budgets.

In a related matter, he said it was sad to hear Democratic Party (DP) Commissioner Louie Laveist call on the island’s youngsters to refuse any help offered by him. Richardson called on Laveist to apologise to the public.

Richardson said he wanted to give back to the community, especially youngsters, because he remembered “growing up with very little.”

Copyright ©2006 The Daily Herald St. Maarten

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