POMEROY — The parents and students sat and waited patiently under the gazebo of the Pomeroy Parking Lot.
Then, at 1 p.m. Iva Sisson and her husband, Bob, along with Stuart Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio, and Lyndsey Kleven, public relations specialist for Connect Ohio, began passing out the PC desktops that would go to the homes of students in Meigs County who were without one in their homes. Connect Ohio also formed the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative, or CABI, to help those in need of technology in the area.
Students ranged from the junior high to high school levels, and Sisson emphasized how important the computers would be for each child’s academic future.
“The only criteria is that they don’t have a computer at home, and that they want to do better in school to make life better for them than what they’ve got right now,” she said.
Sisson also emphasized that the computers were strictly to be used for academic purposes.
“If we find out through the schools that (the students) are not doing their homework in a tiny manner and things get left behind, they’ll lose their computer,” she said. “Schools will let us know if they get behind, if homework isn’t done, and they will eventually be called into the office. And that’s when we’ll find out and there’ll be repercussions for it.”
Johnson said he and his group, Connect Ohio, do the easy part by simply collecting computers and refurbishing what they can. He said that Sisson is the one who has the difficult task.
“(She gets) computers donated here locally and from the Community Computer Alliance in Columbus, (in) which she got 14 computers,” he said.
In total, 32 of the 34 computers set to be given way were collected.
Meigs County Commissioner Randy Smith said that on behalf of the commissioners, he was thankful for people like Iva Sisson.
“(She) just sat in her house one day, came up with this idea and decided to find a way to get a computer in the homes of all the kids in the county,” he said. “She’s been very passionate the whole time and very determined. She just said she was going to do it regardless of who was going to help her.”
Sisson personally thanked all those who helped in the process, including her husband, Kleven, Johnson and Paul Reed, president of Farmer’s Bank, who was unable to attend.
A recycle drive for electronics will take place at the Sternwheel Festival in Pomeroy Sept. 11-13. Any technology but televisions will be accepted. Also, a CABI Fund Benefit Concern featuring Jonathan Edwards, McGuffey Lane and Grassinine will take place Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit CABI. For more information call 740-753-1924.