NetDay Logo

NetDay Press Releases

November 30, 2000

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation Donate 300 Computers to NetDay's Digital Divide Initiative in Texas

Donation Brings Technology to Students and Teachers in Underserved Community

Mercedes, TX -- Nearly 5,000 students in the Rio Grande Valley will be using computers in their everyday learning activities thanks to a generous gift from The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Today, 270 desktop and 30 laptops Dell computers were donated to NetDay's Digital Divide Initiative in the Mercedes Independent School District.

"We support NetDay because of their long-standing commitment to helping all schools gain access to technology, particularly in underserved communities. Our hope is that these computers will open doors for students to enhance their learning and empower teachers to use technology as a learning tool," said Susan Dell.

Since October 1999, NetDay has been working with the Mercedes Independent School District to integrate technology into curriculum and instruction. A critical element of NetDay's Digital Divide Initiative in Texas is assessing the use of existing technology and identifying ongoing technology needs for the students and teachers in these schools.

"This generous donation from The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation significantly advances our program in Texas. With this influx of hardware, we will now be able to concentrate our efforts on professional development opportunities to help teachers, students and community members effectively use technology to enhance learning," stated Julie Evans, CEO of NetDay.

The Mercedes Independent School District serves 5,000 students, ninety percent of which live at or below the poverty level. The school is the central learning place for the residents of this rural community where they have access to technology to help build marketable skills.

The school district's written technology plan was founded on strategic vision and an aggressive approach to integrating technology into classrooms. Over the past five years, the Mercedes Independent School District has been awarded technology grants and discounts for their visionary leadership. "This donation is significant because it means that our students, teachers and community members can learn the technical skills that are so important in the New Economy," said Jesus Gandara, Superintendent, Mercedes Independent School District.

About The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation was established in December 1999 by the Dell family to help address the growing needs of children in Texas and beyond. Within its first year, the foundation has provided significant program funding to local and statewide initiatives that impact children's health and education, the foundation's primary areas of focus.

About NetDay
NetDay ( is a national, education technology non-profit organization that continues to help schools build and enhance connections as well as to guide them on the effective and appropriate use of technology resources to enhance and support K-12 education. NetDay's vision is to help educators "think beyond" the technical connections of computers and the Internet to educational results.