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Fort Sill soldier rehabs old computers, donates to students

Fort Sill_If you have a job, chances are you use a computer each day and that's why schools teach students computer skills early.  However, while some youngsters get to use a PC or Mac at school, some can't at home - they cost too much money.

There's good news for Elgin Elementary, though.  A soldier stationed at Fort Sill is doing seeing to it that every student has one.  Second Lieutenant Jacob Roecker says he isn't getting anything in return for taking on the project, he says he only wants to make sure children at Elgin Elementary have the same opportunities as other children.  "I was dropping my daughter off at a friend's house, and seeing how her friend was living, and the circumstances that they had, and realized how much I'd been blessed in life, and what I had grown up with, I wanted to do something about it," he said.

Roecker created his own project - "Reprise."  "I realized I could get people to donate their own machines," he said.  "I could fix them up, put Ed Ubuntu on there, and get that back out to kids that need them."  The program - Ed Ubuntu - will give families the tools that will help children of all ages.  "Tux Paint is a simple painting program," he said.  "It teaches the kids how to use a mouse.  For high school kids, if they are working through the periodic table of elements, they can see how the atomic structures look - they can do a  Q and A session with each element...really help them out in science class."

So the project can reach its full potential, Jacob decided he needed a partner - and found one.  "That's a win-win situation," said Doug Garland of Elgin.  "He is interested in doing that, and I am interested in helping the kids - that's great."  Jacob does all of this in his spare time, but says it's worth it.  "If you care about something, and you are passionate about it, you make time for it."

Jacob Roecker urges others to do what they can to help their community.  "I looked at what skills I had, and wanted to make a difference," he said.  "It's up to other people to figure out what their skills are, and what they can do to make a difference."

If you would like to donate to the Reprise Project, Jacob is asking for computers, old computer parts, and even printers.  He says he will not accept cash donations for the cause.  Computers, computer parts, and computer accessories, can be dropped off at the donations sites at the Nye Library at Fort Sill, or Elgin Elementary.

For more information on the project, visit www.reprise.trailbrain.com.

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