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(CNN)   Retired teacher spends life savings to buy and transform bus into mobile computer lab to help disadvantaged students   (cnn.com) divider line 43
    More: Hero, Estella Pyfrom, educational software, CNN Heroes, college-preparatory  
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3455 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Nov 2013 at 7:54 AM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-11-04 01:24:07 AM
I truly wish there were more teachers like this awesome lady, it would help keep a lot of kids in school.

I salute you Ms. Pyfrom, you are top of the class!
 
2013-11-04 01:47:26 AM
To keep up the momentum of her efforts, Pyfrom has continued to pour her savings into maintaining and modifying her bus, so far spending about $1 million, she says.


Okay..okay..I like the concept, and her work. But NO retired teacher has a savings account of 1 million dollars; of personal savings.
 
2013-11-04 07:57:45 AM
Why would an individual have to do this with their own money?   I thought the government running things like this is the perfect situation?
 
2013-11-04 08:00:12 AM
They should just give all those kids iPads.
 
2013-11-04 08:00:45 AM
Too bad the primary hurdle students face has nothing to do with access to technology.

Still, she'll inspire some kids, because she actually gives a shiat, and some of those kids will find a way to succeed with the deck stacked against them, and the data driven NCLB pukes that want to close the achievement gap will think, "hey, wow, it must have been the computer lab!"
 
2013-11-04 08:01:59 AM
I appreciate her efforts, but come on. You can't even give away a computer, I've tried.
These kids come from families that don't care about their education, and without them these kids are toast.
 
2013-11-04 08:04:27 AM

You Are All Sheep: Why would an individual have to do this with their own money?   I thought the government running things like this is the perfect situation?


'Government' and 'perfect situation' are two words that NEVER go together (just like 'political solution'). But, some local politician will rally her efforts, give her some dollar store award, and use her on the campaign trail sans any donation.
 
2013-11-04 08:06:00 AM

You Are All Sheep: Why would an individual have to do this with their own money?   I thought the government running things like this is the perfect situation?


In all fairness, the government does buy itself a lot of shiny new computers.
I used to know a welfare case worker who was issued a laptop. However, all paperwork was done manually at the recipients house, and all computer work was done on the desktop back at her office, so she had no idea why they issued it to her, as well as the other 35 case workers in the city.
 
2013-11-04 08:08:02 AM
Retired teacher

...guidance counselor...


We'll let it slide, subby, since she's an amazing person.
 
2013-11-04 08:08:24 AM
Good for her.

/   +1 for proper use of Hero tag
//  Now, the school district should step up and give her fuel and insurance
/// and an armed guard.
 
2013-11-04 08:09:34 AM
"Porn?  I spend my life savings on this educational facility and you're surfing porn?!?"

Good luck to her.  I hope she can find the kids whose will to succeed hasn't been eroded to the root already.
 
2013-11-04 08:11:04 AM

optikeye: Okay..okay..I like the concept, and her work. But NO retired teacher has a savings account of 1 million dollars; of personal savings.


A teacher will generally make about 2 million over the course of a year. Invest half your income the whole time, there will be several million in your retirement plan.

Also, don't assume it's all her money. She may be married to another well paid professional, or come from a family that left her a lifetime savings.

Amazingly, it's how we used to do things in this country.
 
2013-11-04 08:19:06 AM

Dwindle: A teacher will generally make about 2 million over the course of a year. Invest half your income the whole time, there will be several million in your retirement plan.


Two million what, Yen?!?  :D  Seriously!
 
2013-11-04 08:21:02 AM
Should have just bought a van and painted 'Free Candy' on the sides.  I hear you get a lot more kids that way.

/I know, seat over there
//Hero tag is apt for this Hero
///Slashies
 
2013-11-04 08:25:40 AM
Naturally, some Farkkkers have a problem with this.
 
2013-11-04 08:25:54 AM
Retired teacher, she is rich and has the time.

And computers are not needed. Good old fashioned teaching and discipline are. Odd we did not have computers growing up in my day (barely) and we were more successful than today's crotch fruit.
 
2013-11-04 08:26:47 AM

optikeye: Okay..okay..I like the concept, and her work. But NO retired teacher has a savings account of 1 million dollars; of personal savings.


Why not?

Also,

B r - - - - - - -
B - -

"retired teacher - - - transform bus in to mobile - - - -  lab"

sounds like a good story!
 
2013-11-04 08:29:43 AM
This is an awesome story. This is something a tech titan like Bill Gates should be doing. That Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation could easily do this in select communities nationwide.

jso2897: Naturally, some Farkkkers have a problem with this.


Yea, I saw that too. They could complain about a sunny day.
 
2013-11-04 08:30:14 AM

Thunderpipes: Odd we did not have computers growing up in my day (barely) and we were more successful than today's crotch fruit.


were you now?
 
2013-11-04 08:32:53 AM

Dwindle: I appreciate her efforts, but come on. You can't even give away a computer, I've tried.
These kids come from families that don't care about their education, and without them these kids are toast.


Mk, answer me something here because this is a topic well outside my own experience: I've seen a lot of media that depicts poor, inner-city people in the US being down on their kids and each other for wanting a basic education, how learning to read is just hoity-toity bullshiat and how anyone who even thinks about college "thinks they're so much better than me". Is this actually a real thing that happens with any regularity?
 
2013-11-04 08:35:01 AM

Thunderpipes: Retired teacher, she is rich and has the time.

And computers are not needed. Good old fashioned teaching and discipline are. Odd we did not have computers growing up in my day (barely) and we were more successful than today's crotch fruit.


She's retired from teaching, and discipline isn't her job anymore.  She's just trying spark some interest.

i287.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-04 08:43:45 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Thunderpipes: Retired teacher, she is rich and has the time.

And computers are not needed. Good old fashioned teaching and discipline are. Odd we did not have computers growing up in my day (barely) and we were more successful than today's crotch fruit.

She's retired from teaching, and discipline isn't her job anymore.  She's just trying spark some interest.

[i287.photobucket.com image 320x240]


You DO know who you're talking to, right? The "golden days" crap of remembering the good about his time but not the bad SHOULD say everything. Also, he tends to be a threadshiatter. You probably won't hear from him again.
 
2013-11-04 08:48:53 AM
She's going to be pissed when she has to replace her bus in three years.
 
2013-11-04 08:58:49 AM
Good for her, but I take issue with the article over the "Digital Divide" comment.  Computers are cheap enough that any family can afford a at least a used desktop.  The issue is education.  She is taking the time to teach children to use computers as tools, something the schools should be doing.
 
2013-11-04 09:18:43 AM

Flakeloaf: Dwindle: I appreciate her efforts, but come on. You can't even give away a computer, I've tried.
These kids come from families that don't care about their education, and without them these kids are toast.

Mk, answer me something here because this is a topic well outside my own experience: I've seen a lot of media that depicts poor, inner-city people in the US being down on their kids and each other for wanting a basic education, how learning to read is just hoity-toity bullshiat and how anyone who even thinks about college "thinks they're so much better than me". Is this actually a real thing that happens with any regularity?


Yes and no. I'm sure there are some people who, in their bitterness, want to keep their kids on their level. But mostly it comes from suspicion - they want them to learn to read, but not in the schools run by "the man." Because the public education system exists to keep you down, because they don't understand your culture, etc.

They want what's best for their children, and themselves, but have absolutely no farking clue what that is. People who think giving everybody an iPad is a magic reset button are just plain unhelpful.
 
2013-11-04 09:26:15 AM

tira: Retired teacher

...guidance counselor...

We'll let it slide, subby, since she's an amazing person.


FTFA: "They needed food. They needed to pay their mortgage or their rent," said Pyfrom, a former teacher. "Some of them lost their cars. So I knew it was a serious problem."

I've known a few teachers who worked as guidance counselors toward the end of their careers, when they were "semi-retired."

Also, I really don't even have any snark here.  Hero tag is well-deserved.
 
2013-11-04 09:31:29 AM
WhyFi
 
2013-11-04 09:40:14 AM

Tom_Slick: Computers are cheap enough that any family can afford a at least a used desktop.


Computer, maybe. (And, even then, who really buys used computers? Technology change faster than style.) Decent internet service? Not so easy.
 
2013-11-04 10:04:05 AM

takemeaway10: Tom_Slick: Computers are cheap enough that any family can afford a at least a used desktop.

Computer, maybe. (And, even then, who really buys used computers? Technology change faster than style.) Decent internet service? Not so easy.


You go to "the cloud"

s22.postimg.org
 
2013-11-04 10:14:12 AM
Here's the photo of said teacher.
media.npr.org
 
2013-11-04 10:18:00 AM
Teacher doesn't know when to give up.
 
2013-11-04 10:19:32 AM

optikeye: But NO retired teacher has a savings account of 1 million dollars; of personal savings.


The husbands might.

/ ZING!
 
2013-11-04 10:20:41 AM

takemeaway10: Tom_Slick: Computers are cheap enough that any family can afford a at least a used desktop.

Computer, maybe. (And, even then, who really buys used computers? Technology change faster than style.) Decent internet service? Not so easy.


There are many internet plans for $25 or less a month.
 
2013-11-04 10:23:06 AM

dv-ous: Flakeloaf: Dwindle: I appreciate her efforts, but come on. You can't even give away a computer, I've tried.
These kids come from families that don't care about their education, and without them these kids are toast.

Mk, answer me something here because this is a topic well outside my own experience: I've seen a lot of media that depicts poor, inner-city people in the US being down on their kids and each other for wanting a basic education, how learning to read is just hoity-toity bullshiat and how anyone who even thinks about college "thinks they're so much better than me". Is this actually a real thing that happens with any regularity?

Yes and no. I'm sure there are some people who, in their bitterness, want to keep their kids on their level. But mostly it comes from suspicion - they want them to learn to read, but not in the schools run by "the man." Because the public education system exists to keep you down, because they don't understand your culture, etc.

They want what's best for their children, and themselves, but have absolutely no farking clue what that is. People who think giving everybody an iPad is a magic reset button are just plain unhelpful.


oh please. Most parents want their kids to do well and to succeed. The problem starts when the parents have to actually DO stuff to make that happen. Everyone can pay lip service to wanting their kids to do well in school and get good grades etc but when little johnny or suzy come home and it is time for the parents to make sure the kids do the homework or help them to read etc this is where the divide starts. Maybe it is a single parent household so the parents time is divided more between job/kids/life.

Middle and upperclass families have it a little easier as the school systems their children attend provide a decent learning situation for their children. They have a little more leeway when it comes to having to be on top of their kids in order for them not to be dumbasses. But even in these families their are parents who can't or won't do what they need to do to ensure their child succeeds. You also have the kids. Some are just way more in to learning than others. This is true across all socio-economic levels. Those kids make it easier on their parents and again these types of kids can manage a parent that isn't as involved educationally as others. BUT then that lends to the perfect storm of kids who have no drive to learn with parents that can't be bothered to make them, It is also why you have kids who are driven with parents who are really involved with their education.

It doesn't matter if that parental interaction happens over a traditional school book or computer. IMHO  the kid is the most important factor with his/her parents a close second in determining school success
 
2013-11-04 10:53:41 AM

Tom_Slick: takemeaway10: Tom_Slick: Computers are cheap enough that any family can afford a at least a used desktop.

Computer, maybe. (And, even then, who really buys used computers? Technology change faster than style.) Decent internet service? Not so easy.

There are many internet plans for $25 or less a month.


I know a typical person can usually see the ins and outs of most situations. I just think every situation isn't so cookie cutter. There may be reasons why some poor families can't get even the cheap laptops/desktops and cheap internet access sometimes. You would think anyone would be able to, but everyone's situation is not the same.

This lady is doing something helpful for a lot of people, and I think that's more proactive than just posting comments online saying "Well, people should be able to afford even the cheapest stuff."
 
2013-11-04 11:14:47 AM

takemeaway10: Tom_Slick: Computers are cheap enough that any family can afford a at least a used desktop.

Computer, maybe. (And, even then, who really buys used computers? Technology change faster than style.) Decent internet service? Not so easy.


Wat? How is decent internet service not easy? Most every Telco and cablco offers service, maybe not up to uber geek standards but easy to set up and relatively inexpensive. Most of these people probably already have cable tv anyways, I would think.

Agree that it is about education. Computers are ridiculously inexpensive these days. You can even get a brand new Dell for a pittance if you wait for a good sale (again, not uber geek but totally acceptable). The issue is finding people that care enough to teach kids something. Those people should be the parents. IMHO.
 
2013-11-04 11:25:59 AM
Wow, $20k is a life savings?

Sucks to be them.

/that is all it would take for me to set up a used bus, and about 30 computers.
 
2013-11-04 11:33:51 AM

Tom_Slick: Good for her, but I take issue with the article over the "Digital Divide" comment.  Computers are cheap enough that any family can afford a at least a used desktop.  The issue is education.  She is taking the time to teach children to use computers as tools, something the schools should be doing.


For the past 5 years, I have refurbished government surplus computers and then given them away.

They cost me nothing, and in some cases I have been paid as much as $20 to take them away.

Over 500 families have a decent computer now.

/retirement isn't always that bad
//but I do get bored
///and our strip clubs have ugly women, and no alcohol
 
2013-11-04 11:40:32 AM

optikeye: To keep up the momentum of her efforts, Pyfrom has continued to pour her savings into maintaining and modifying her bus, so far spending about $1 million, she says.


Okay..okay..I like the concept, and her work. But NO retired teacher has a savings account of 1 million dollars; of personal savings.


5k a year for 30 years is 150k.

The dow was at 1.000 back then. It is 15.000 now

More Money.. is what you have if you save it instead of buying spinners.
 
2013-11-04 01:14:41 PM

Thunderpipes: Odd we did not have computers growing up in my day (barely) and we were more successful than today's crotch fruit.


25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-11-04 02:47:56 PM
Sp pitiful that this is even necessary.
 
2013-11-04 05:52:51 PM
I didn't see the 'Computer' part of 'Computer Lab', and was wondering why the Hero tag was coming along for a ride.
 
2013-11-04 06:28:01 PM
Awesome !
 
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