School computer lab to be available for Finley residents

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 29, 2013 

Finley school officials are stepping up to help Finley citizens who don't have access to a computer.

Starting next week, the computer lab at the Finley Alternative Education Building will open two nights a week for the public.

"It was something I saw as a way to give back to the community," said Superintendent Lance Hahn, noting there is no other public computer lab in the Finley area.

And there's hope the access could lead to bigger things.

Maybe one of the larger computer rooms eventually could be opened to the community. Maybe online courses could be offered for adults.

But for now, the district just wants to see how residents make use of the nine computers currently used by students in the district's alternative education program.

The lab, between the Finley Community Center and Finley Middle School on Finley Road, will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Feb. 5.

It will include access to some of the district's online programs such as a Rosetta Stone language program to learn Spanish and others for GED study, as well as to the internet and other programs.

"Some people just need a computer to type up a resum or cover letter," Hahn said.

Students in grades 7 and higher also can stop by.

Board members approved the public access and the move won't cost the district any money for now, Hahn said. The district's technology director will staff the two public periods each week for now. Later, the district will pay someone a stipend to supervise users.

Hahn said the move was partially inspired by a desire to repay the support the community has given to the schools over the years but it's also a way to foster learning in the community for students and adults.

-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver

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