Allen Delivers Second Computer Lab to Local Students

BOSTON – Technology is an integral part of education for today’s youth. Computers help children with research papers, math lessons and science projects, to name in a few. In an instant, youth can learn all there is to know about Spain, dinosaurs and the American Revolution.

Understanding the importance of technology for students, Ray Allen’s foundation, Ray of Hope, renovated its second computer lab of the school year, selecting the Sarah Greenwood K-8 School in Dorchester, Mass. With outdated computers and some that were not even working, Allen knew something needed to be done.

“In order for kids to learn, they’ve got to have the best tools available to them,” said Allen. “That’s why we decided to update their technology. Education is moving in the direction of technology and in order for these kids to grow they need to have access to it.”

Ray Computer Lab

A wide shot of the computer lab that was built for the Sarah Greenwood K-8 School in Dorchester, Mass.
Ashley Earle

Following the removal of the old computers and furniture, the renovation began! Twenty-six state-of-the-art computers were purchased along with new tables and chairs. The walls were painted and graphics were added in addition to two rugs resembling basketball courts for the front of the room. In short, the finished product was impressive!

After the completion of the room, Allen visited to unveil it to the eager students who had been trying to get a peak of the room for weeks.

As Allen entered the auditorium to see the students that awaited his arrival, the crowd erupted!

Moments later, as the welcome cheers died down, Allen addressed the youth.

“I’m happy to be here today. That was probably the best welcome I’ve ever received,” Allen said. “You guys know that I’m No. 20 and that I play for the Celtics, but what you probably don’t know is how much education means to me. When I was your age I had a dream to play basketball in the NBA but I knew I wouldn’t reach that goal without education. So I focused on my school work and made sure I had good grades. Those good grades allowed me to graduate high school and go to college. Being a great student is the most important thing and my dream for all of you is to go to college so you can come back one day like me and speak to students. So, today we have brought a special gift to your school. The Celtics want you all to have the best technology so that you all are successful.”

With all the students attentively listening to Allen, it was clear that his message was resonating with them. As the assembly was about to draw to a close, students were delighted when they were able to ask Allen questions.

“What is your favorite part of being a professional basketball player?” asked on student.

“The best part of being a basketball player is what I’m doing now, which is the off-the-court impact,” he responded. “It’s great to come to schools and see you guys so excited. I know how important education is and I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to help foster that growth.”

After addressing the students, Allen made his way to the computer lab where he unveiled the room with the help of 20 youth from the school.

The children’s faces as they walked in were priceless! It was evident that they were excited about their new learning space.

To illustrate how useful technology is, the students were tasked with learning about the four places Allen played basketball since his college days began. The teams used the computers to help answer questions about the locations. In the span of 15 minutes, the students learned numerous things about each place.

Team UConn learned that there are 147 different majors offered at the university. Team Milwaukee learned that the city is 20,190 square miles. Team Seattle learned that the Space Needle is the most famous tourist attraction and Team Boston learned that there are a combined 33 world championships by the Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins and Patriots.

To stress the importance of computers even more, Allen asked the journalists in attendance to speak to the kids about how much they use them.

“Everywhere I go, I take my computer,” said CSNNE.com beat reporter A. Sherrod Blakely.

Boston Globe beat writer Julian Benbow added, “We couldn’t do our jobs without a computer. Our jobs are to record what’s going on in the games and the computers are our tools.”

“I’m glad the journalists are here today,” added Allen. “I don’t want you to always think athletically but rather academically. If you love sports and aren’t able to play professionally, being a sports journalist is another way to stay involved with what you’re passionate about.”

One thing is for sure; the students at Sarah Greenwood will always remember the day when technology and athletics came together to help improve their education.

“A lot of kids are going to use this lab,” commented Allen. “This is something that will last and help them grow as individuals. Every kid should have the tools to help them succeed and this computer lab does that.”