November 23, 2014


Lorain Schools program teaches helps parents catch up on technology

Tanell Jones, standing, teaches William Ritter, foreground, and, from left, Walter Kell and Connie Kell about computers used to help their family members excel in school. The program is sponsored by Lorain County Community College and Lorain Schools. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Tanell Jones, standing, teaches William Ritter, foreground, and, from left, Walter Kell and Connie Kell about computers used to help their family members excel in school. The program is sponsored by Lorain County Community College and Lorain Schools. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

LORAIN — A recently expanded program is providing parents and grandparents of Lorain Schools students with free computers and training to improve student achievement.

The program, run by Lorain County Community College, is an offshoot of a 2010 Connect Your Community program funded with federal taxpayer stimulus money to expand broadband access to county residents, according to City Councilman Tim Howard, D-4th Ward, the program supervisor.

The school program began in November 2012. On Jan. 14, the Board of Education approved its expansion district-wide to Garfield Elementary School, Longfellow and Gen. Johnnie Wilson middle schools, the Credit Recovery Academy and New Beginnings Academy.

The program is designed to help reduce the digital divide.

With 85 percent of Lorain Schools students living in poverty, having a computer at home is not a given. Howard said school principals are excited about the idea that parents will have more access and input in their children’s education through the program.

“The challenge has always been engagement,” said Howard, who would like to see the program expanded countywide. “This is one of the ways we’re trying.”

Among the lessons taught are how to access Power School, a link on Lorain Schools’ website that allows parents to monitor their children’s education. It includes attendance information, student’s grades and how much money they spend on lunch if they have a lunch card.

“A lot of people, they wait until they get their report cards to find out their kids have straight F’s and D’s,” instructor Tanell Jones told parents during a Feb. 12 class at Lorain High School. “You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to get your kid active in school. “

Jones said some parents are unaware of Power School.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “They spent all this time and money to come up with this site, so I have always stressed, stressed, stressed to use it.”

Beside the website, class topics included how parents can become more aware if their child is bullying or being bullied online. The class included a fictional video of a teenaged girl who commits suicide after being bullied face to face and online.

Howard said the online bullying aspect increases the chances of suicide and parents have to take responsibility for supervising children’s online activity.

“You have to ask the questions. And if you don’t like their answers, keep asking questions,” he said. “Make sure they understand you care.”

The class also discussed “sexting” in which children text semi-nude or nude pictures of themselves to each other on their phones. Howard said parents need to explain to their children the repercussions of sexting.

In Ohio, people younger than 18 can be charged with pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor or illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, according to Ohio Revised Code. Both are felonies.

“Explain it to them,” Howard said. “They’ll laugh, but if they get caught, trust me, they’ll be crying down at the County Jail.”

Parent William Ritter, 48, said his stepson, Justin Henline, an 18-year-old Lorain High School senior, is far more computer literate than him. Ritter said the more he learns from the class, the more he’ll be able to help his grandchildren who will be attending elementary school in a few years.

“It gives you more information than you knew before,” Ritter said. “It makes it easier for people that can’t afford a computer, plus they get educated at the same time.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or

Parental Programming

  • Lorain Schools’ parental engagement programming expanded district-wide in January.
  • Participants attend weekly two-hour classes for a month, learning basic computer skills.
  • Graduates receive a refurbished desktop computer. Graduates who pay $135 received refurbished laptops.
  • The program’s goal is to provide 150 to 200 parents with computers and training annually. Participants must have Internet access to be eligible.
  • The $60,000 annual program run by Lorain County Community College is paid with Title I money from the U.S. Department of Education. Title I money is spent to help children from poor school districts succeed.
  • For more information on the program, call (440) 366-7292.

SOURCES: Lorain County Community College, Lorain Schools


  • bROWNS77

    Can’t get past the headline.

    • SniperFire

      LOL. No Pulitzer here.

      • Zen Grouch

        **No Pulitzer here.**

        No, but I hear tell, you can -pull it- over at the Morning Urinal. LOL ROTFL STFU!

  • SniperFire

    Owebama will hit $22 trillion Federal debt limit before the end of his horrific Presidency. This is considered unpayable by any serious economist and a clear path to economic destruction.

    And we are doing this to pay to teach old people in Lorain to use a computer? Where is the accountability? Journalism is completely dead in America.

    • wow

      Not. Sure. If. Serious.

      • SniperFire

        It’s free as far as you are concerned, so why worry?

        • wow

          If you knew what I paid in taxes you’d be . . . informed. A big change.

          • Zen Grouch


            I’m sure that’s not a huge priority.

          • bROWNS77

            Yeah, I’m paying 1,360 in property taxes on a crap house ! Paying another 1,400 on a small rental and , $1,300 on another rental! Yet , the county needs more money! So do I , with the over $100 a month in taxes, $100 a month in insurance for the sewers backing up and then pay 30% to the federal income tax , then state and then city.
            It’s a joke ! Can’t wait to vote on more taxes in March, lmao!

    • Zen Grouch

      Just out of curiosity…

      Why are you here exactly?

      • SniperFire

        To read the obits, mostly. I mean, does anybody to the Right of Pol Pot even subscribe to home delivery of Leftist rag journals anymore?
        But to be honest, I also come to make fun of low information, low hanging fruit freeloaders and stoners (not mutually exclusive)

        • Zen Grouch

          So your mission here is to be disagreeable and as offensive as possible…

          …just as I suspected.

          Wouldn’t your time be better spent over at the Morning Urinal circle jerking it with the rest of the Republican’ts and Tea Baggers?

  • stillsleepyeyes

    so now they won’t have to see the homeless at the library……………….ohh wait the have to have internet…….hmmm………….lock up your wifi……………….lmao

  • Brandy Lynn

    Omg. Does anyone pay for anything in Lorain by themselves????
    “A lot of people, they wait until they get their report cards to find out their kids have straight F’s and D’s,” Well That is common sense to monitor your childs grades on tests, homework, etc etc. You don’t need a parenting class to know this. Unreal.

    • ekwaykway

      I don’t disagree with you, however one must consider the majority of parents in Lorain aren’t the brighest bulbs.

  • golfingirl

    What does “Lorain Schools program teaches helps parents catch up on technology” mean?

    Can the Chronicle please use SpellCheck??

    Maybe the publishers should enroll in this program and learn how to use it.

    This is not an isolated instance, this does seem to be a pattern with these writers.

    • Zen Grouch

      **What does “Lorain Schools program teaches helps parents catch up on technology” mean?**

      It means you suck.

      • golfingirl

        Really? What is your problem? Did you wake up “grouchy” this morning.

        Not sure what I said to deserve that comment.

        • Zen Grouch


          On your next girl persona, ease up on the “I’m just a girl” and the “oh you men!” shtick.

          Yeah! Yeah already… we get it, you’re suppose to be a chick, ‘mK?

          • golfingirl

            I believe you are a really sick man.

            You may be bipolar, in the middle of a manic episode,or
            You are really stoned right now, or
            You are really drunk right now, or
            You hate intelligent women, or
            You hate all women because your wife cheated on you.

            I won’t take it personal, since I noticed I am not the only person you treat this way.

            I can only hope you get the help you need. You are sick to the point of being scary.

            Am I the only one here who feels this way?

          • Zen Grouch

            **Am I the only one here who feels this way?**

            Oh, I can think of 5 or 6 “posters” here who probably feel the same way!

            **The lady doth protest too much, methinks**

    • bROWNS77

      I know, cracked me up! The crazy part is the writer must not read the darn posts because he didn’t even correct it yet! Lmao!

  • Brian_Reinhardt

    Sad that it was not mentioned that there’s an APP for Power School so the parents can check any time they want to if they have an iphone. I like to check it as I’m picking up my child and ask him as soon as I see him where this or that is or to tell him “good job” when he gets a good grade.

    • bROWNS77

      I have power School send me email, didn’t know there was an app.
      Darn emails come in at 2:45 am, lol!
      Where can I get the app?

      • Brian_Reinhardt

        Just go to the Apple App store and search Power School. The APP you want to download is from Pearson. Its image is an old schoolhouse with the word Pearson over it.

        • bROWNS77

          I have an Android. I’m going to check the play store and search.
          Thank you!

          • bROWNS77

            Found it for android!

  • hipster

    Ummm……”Teaching parents to catch up with technology”…..85% of Lorain students live in poverty…..but yet…..99% of their parent s have smart phones and know how to access Facebook, Twitter, ITunes, etc. but yet they can’t check on their children’s’ school progress???? Give me a break!!! Wake up people and start holding people accountable regardless of their income level!!!!!

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Sounds like lccc is getting rid of some old computers on the tax payers dime……paid twice is always nice ………………..

  • Zen Grouch

    I don’t know about computers, but I hope she teaches that guy in the photo how to drop and roll without hurting himself, after he crushes that chair flat.

  • Zen Grouch

    That’s it FormerLorainDick go after the dumb ones…

    …they might believe you’re a chick.