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A laptop, a child, a dollar — and a promise

The South Carolina Department of Education and the nonprofit Palmetto Project have teamed up to get a laptop in the hands of every elementary school student in South Carolina — and they hope to distribute as many as 50,000 laptops this spring to eligible students, reports. Inspired by the vision behind the One Laptop Per Child Initiative, educators, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and government officials started working together in 2005 on the initiative. The effort is underwritten and managed by the Palmetto Project, whose mission is to "put new and creative ideas to work in South Carolina." While low-performing school districts with limited resources are a special focus for the OLPC/SC project, the group is adamant on one point: There are no free laptops. In fact, there are two requirements for children wishing to receive a laptop. First, they must give a small monetary donation; the project coordinators say a dollar or two is sufficient. Second, they must sign a document promising to try to "do something great" for their state, their family, and themselves with the laptop…

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