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GHW Center is Cyber-Strong!

Thanksgiving week started with a bang for IT professional Kensei Tsubata, who drove 7 hours to bring 14 more computers to the George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center.

Together with Kate Tsubata, Kensei met Ocie Jones and Vince Spaulding at the Clarkton building, where the computers were unloaded and set up. He navigated the satellite internet service, creating work-arounds to download the Microsoft-licensed software (retail value, $21,000) purchased at the nonprofit rate of $1,760 with the $3,000 grant given by International Paper Foundation.

In addition to 26 PC-type laptops, he equipped two Apple-type systems, to provide additional capacity and services for the Center.

He networked the laptops to the two laser printers, so the students and users can easily print from their workstations. He integrated these with the security camera system, which allows full views and coverage of the center that can be monitored remotely.

"We are very grateful to Johns Hopkins University for donating the used equipment, and to Kensei Tsubata, who is on their IT team, for reformatting them to be used for the people of Bladen and Columbus counties," said project leader, Vince Spaulding."

"We are already holding two computer classes a week, 3 hours a class, and we have 8 or 9 regular students," explained local superintendent Ocie Jones. "One 80-year-old student had to take a break when she suffered a concussion, but she can't wait to resume her training!" Learning these skills helps not only in professional skills, but in communicating with distant family, in doing volunteer work, and to allow residents to access web-based services.

The Bladen County Senior Services division, led by Kelly Robeson, has been active in supporting the classes, and is hoping to facilitate transportation for potential students. The Southeastern Community College is treating the classes as an extension of the education provided on their premises, paying the instructor, Mary Baldwin.

Even brand-new students are comfortable with the classes, which utilize the large screen tv to show the class what is happening on the computer screen. This will allow many other types of programs to be given at the center, and the management team are working hard to find instructors and solve the technical issues to allow this to happen.

If you or someone you know wants to sign up for the twice-weekly classes, to to the website: Or, you can call the phone number and leave a message: 910-445-0269.

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