Oskaloosa Bringing technology to Oskaloosa Elementary School remains a top priority for students and staff, who continue to promote their grass-roots fund-raising effort known as "Operation Computer Lab."
The school kicked off the campaign in September and has since raised more than $12,000 toward purchasing Macintosh LC computers. Organizers hope to collect $100,000, which would pay for at least 25 computers and finance training for teachers on the new system.
Principal Terry Campbell said the Oskaloosa community has contributed to the campaign through a number of small activities and events, such as a candy sale, Halloween party and haunted house, aluminum can recycling and raffles.
A community garage sale and bake sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 15 at the elementary school, he said. To purchase booth space for the sale, contact the elementary school office at 863-2254.
A car bash also will take place that day, with participants paying for a swing at a car with a sledgehammer.
CAMPBELL SAID other fund-raising activities under consideration are hayrack rides, a community dance and a Jefferson County Nintendo championship.
The school also holds Friday Fun Nights from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the school for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.
"They play Pictionary or Nintendo, or we rent movies for them, things like that," Campbell said. "It's an opportunity for the kids to come and have fun in a safe environment. It would be a good thing to do even if we weren't raising money."
Hoping to draw support from outside the community, Campbell intends to solicit corporate sponsorships for his "Operation Computer Lab" promotional transstate run. "I'll ask them to pledge something like a dollar a mile or 50 cents a mile," he said.
HE'LL START at the Nebraska-Kansas border on Feb. 29 and run between 14 and 23 miles each day to reach the Oklahoma-Kansas border on March 12. Campbell currently runs about 10 miles a day to train for the 233-mile trek.
The principal said he's tempted to take the money already collected and purchase a few computers to demonstrate the educational opportunities and challenges they provide for children. However, he said such decisions are up to the school's technology planning committee, made up of community members, students, the school librarian, the high school principal and Campbell.
"We are not only working on `Operation Computer Lab,' we're also trying to decide the best steps to take for technology planning," he said.