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Net volunteers needed

September 14, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

Officials are looking for volunteers to help expand Internet access in 16 Washington County schools during the second Net Weekend, Sept. 26-27.

When the statewide event was held last year for the first time, 8,000 volunteers pitched in to wire 500 schools in the state to the Internet. In Washington County, six schools were wired, said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Theresa Flak.

All schools in the county are wired to the Internet, but in most instances there is only one terminal hooked to the service, Flak said. During Net Weekend, volunteers "pull wire" and perform other work to help expand Internet connections to each classroom, Flak said.

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Schools apply to the state for needed equipment like wiring kits, routers and computers. The money for the equipment is funded by the state Information and Technology Fund, created by Gov. Parris Glendening and the General Assembly.

Flak said wiring can be costly, and last year, volunteers saved state and local school systems $5 million by doing the work, according to the governor's office.

Schools to be wired this year include North Hagerstown High School and Old Forge, Fountain Rock, Salem Avenue, Conococheague, Emma K. Doub, Hancock, Hickory, Maugansville, Pleasant Valley, Potomac Heights, Sharpsburg, Winter Street, Williamsport and Greenbrier elementary schools.

Volunteers are not required to have computer expertise. Organizers will be at schools to give volunteers exact instructions, Flak said.

Anyone who wants to volunteer for the two-day event can call John Davidson, supervisor of computer-related instruction, at 301-766-2945.

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