Substitute Teachers

Donate Computers — Bridge Digital Divide

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This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the June

5, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Free Student Helpers

If you are perennially short-handed (and who isn’t?)

and you work for the government or a nonprofit, you may be able to

tap energetic student help from Rutgers. Rutgers Citizenship and


Education Program (CASE) matches students with jobs. The students

learn about the value of community service while earning academic

credits, and the organization gets help for free.

A Community Partner Conference on Tuesday, June 18, from 8:30 a.m.

to 12:30 p.m. will help the community organizations get the assistance

they need to advance their programs, and future student participants

also attend. The conference will be held at the Busch Campus Center,

604 Bartholomew Road, Piscataway. Call 732-932-8660, ext. 15.

"Rutgers students have a tremendous amount of talent to


says Yvette Murry, assistant director of CASE. "We want

to help our community partners use CASE for maximum benefit. Our


do everything from general office support to building websites to

organizing activities for seniors. A CASE placement can supplement

the workforce or services of a nonprofit or government agency."

Last year more than 1,000 students contributed more than 75,000 hours

of community service at nearly 150 organizations, and at minimum wage

these hours amounted to nearly $500,000.

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Substitute Teachers

In today’s tough job market, one method for staying

financially afloat is to combine a job search with substitute teaching

assignments. But even if you feel confident in your math or English

knowledge, the thought of facing a classroom of grinning or glowering

adolescents may deter you.

Solution: Attend a three-day substitute teaching workshop at Raritan

Valley Community College, Wednesday to Friday, June 26 to 28, 9 a.m.

to 3 p.m. Cost: $165 including continental breakfasts, workbook, and

certificate for 1.5 continuing education units. Call 908-526-1200,

ext. 8404.

An experienced school district superintendent will be your instructor

for such topics as building positive first impressions, connecting

your personal experiences to content areas, meeting teacher


implementing lesson plans, and managing student behavior. Experienced

substitute teachers and principals will also offer tips.

Designed for both prospective and veteran substitute teachers of all

grade levels, this course will cover how to get certified, job


and the all important "classroom" strategies, which might

otherwise be known as Spitball Deterrent 101.

"Transitioning into Education I and II," a fall course at

RVCC, is for those who think they might want to make a career out

of teaching but aren’t sure if they have the skills needed for


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Donate Computers — Bridge Digital Divide

If your office is upgrading its fleet of computers and

would like to get a tax deduction and also help someone in need, let

the Trenton Materials Exchange recycle your equipment. TME puts used

computers into the hands of people and organizations that need them.

Founded in four years ago by Carol Royal as Trenton Waste


a struggling one-person operation with a home office, this nonprofit

is in the black and has expanded 12-fold. It has even garnered an

article in the New York Times. With a two-person staff plus part


and volunteers, TME leases a warehouse on New York Avenue. In its

early days, TME just recycled and redistributed old office equipment

and computers, but it now rehabilitates computers and sells or donates


Bring your computers and equipment to TME’s drop-off center at 800

New York Avenue on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturdays from

9 to 1 p.m., or make an appointment by calling Royal or Jeri LaPlaca

at 609-278-0033

TME has someone to process the donations; you can be sure the material

on your hard drive will be erased before the computer goes to the

next owner. TME can take your computer — with or without its


— and put a computer system together for someone who has never

had one. "We can use a high quantity of computers that are still

working," says LaPlaca. She particularly hopes that companies

that are upgrading their working Pentiums will consider donating them.

Donations will help bridge the "digital divide," perhaps in

the homes of disadvantaged school children.

In addition to computers, TME can accept and sell copiers, printers,

fax machines, answering machines, telephones, overhead equipment,

typewriters, and radios — any kind of office equipment. Donors

who are not nonprofits pay a $5 fee for recycling a terminal, because

of its hazardous materials. Anyone who can use any of these donations

is asked to make a donation in return.

TME does not take kitchen items like blenders and microwaves. Turn

to the webpage,, to get the address of somewhere to take

a microwave, which is particularly difficult to recycle properly.

The web page has photos of TME’s for-sale merchandise and links to

useful sites, such as one where you can download a missing instruction


LaPlaca, a physical therapist and home health nurse, focuses on


and selling used medical supplies — hospital beds, walkers,


you name it. "When someone gets sick they need a lot of equipment

at home, and then there is a glut when they don’t need it," says

LaPlaca. She prices the medical equipment on a sliding scale and has

sold a $150 hospital bed for $5 to someone who is destitute.


planners call me about clients who have no equipment coverage or are

illegal immigrants. Right now, our agency is self supporting, but

I won’t keep people from getting what they need."

Trenton Materials Exchange, 800 New York Avenue,

Box 693, Trenton 08604-0693. Carol W. Royal, director. fax,

609-278-4900. E-mail: Home page:

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