Web shopping turns into proceeds for school tech

Say goodbye to the grocery receipts and mail-in rebates that parents often put toward new school computers. A new World Wide Web site is turning Internet shopping transactions into proceeds for technology at K-12 schools around the country.

A+ America launched a new Web site at www.technology4kids.com on Wednesday that promises perks for public schools. Parents and other school-minded citizens visiting the Technology4Kids Web site simply designate a school of their choice from a database of more than 112,000 public and private K-12 schools. Then they can shop with popular Internet retailers such as Amazon.com and eToys, and 5 percent to 12.5 percent of their purchases go to their school to buy technology tools such as computer hardware and software.

"It's a very easy way for parents to contribute to their local schools," said Bob Norton, president of the A+ America Free Technology For Schools Program. With parents spending about $50 each time they shop, there will be donations of $5 to $6 dollars, he added. Currently about 15 Internet retailers sponsor the Technology4Kids program. However, Norton expects that number to rise to 30 within a month.

With the donations, schools can purchase computers; software, such as Oregon Trail or Math Blaster; printers; scanners; and even technology training for teachers. Schools can purchase from A+ America's technology catalog or the Littleton, Mass.-based company will reimburse them for technology purchases made elsewhere.

Norton projects the average school will earn about a computer a year through the new Web site. "But you'll have schools that will fund an entire computer lab if they are proactive enough in getting parents and citizens involved. If they get the word out there, there is no limit to what they can earn."

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