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Aboriginal kids get free laptops to fight illiteracy


In hopes of combating illiteracy and truancy, about 2,000 low-cost laptops from the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child initiative have been delivered to three schools in Aboriginal communities in Australia, where illiteracy often can be multi-generational, Reuters reports. Soon after getting one of the small green laptops distributed free to Aboriginal school children, Jericho Lacey learned his computer was good for more than just homework. From his home on Elcho Island, an impoverished tropical outpost, Lacey writes school essays and occasionally plays "maze games" and surfs the net. "Hopefully, my children will become digitally connected to the rest of the world," Jericho’s father Marcus told Reuters. "This island is not very close to anything." Organizers behind the program hope to combat the monotony of island life and give students the chance to learn of the wider world. "We’re trying to gives these kids a shot they might not otherwise get growing up here," said Barry Vercoe, who heads the Asia-Pacific arm of One Laptop Per Child. Through private donations and corporate sponsorships, Vercoe hopes to donate 400,000 computers in Australia over the next two or three years, all directly to indigenous school children. "When we have the opportunity to inoculate against ignorance and illiteracy, we must take it," Vercoe said…

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