Gifts4Fones and the Jack and Jill Foundation have been in the news lately due to their similar ventures in schools. Both organisations are offering schools the opportunity to swap old mobile phones for Interactive Whiteboards. Gifts4fones are working with Smartboard and Jack and Jill are working with Clarity, who supply Promethean boards. However, Gifts4fones are also offering schools the opportunity to swap phones for other hardware. For example, a school in Athy swapped just over 100 phones for 4 brand new laptop cases. What’s more, Gifts4phones plant a tree in every school that takes part in their offer.
There’s obviously some money in these old phones as I’d be struggling to think why two very large Interactive Whiteboard companies would be supporting these schemes. However, that’s here nor there – if you want some new (and free) hardware, this is yet another example of how schools can raise much needed funds for ICT in spite of our government.
Gifts4fones sent me a case study of a school in Clonsilla that got 4 new laptops fro their scheme. These pupils from St Philip’s Junior National School received these laptops from Gifts4Fones in return for collecting and donating old mobile phones.
The pupils at the Northwest Dublin school were one of the first groups in the country to sign up to the new scheme following the nationwide launch of Gifts4Fones.ie in September.
The Gifts4Fones scheme works by awarding points for recycled mobile phones. These points can then be traded for a variety of gifts on the gifts4fones.ie website.
“We are thrilled with our new laptops,” commented Frances Cooke, principal of St. Philip’s. “With school funding on the decline, this is a perfect opportunity for us to acquire new resources while helping the environment so we are encouraging the children to continue collecting.”
As part of the Gifts4Fones scheme, a tree is also donated to participants who collect over 100 phones. The trees are supplied by The Gift Tree Company, a Kildare based company specialising in supplying Irish trees as unique and original living gifts.
“Gifts4Fones are helping the environment while also supporting local business at the same time.” commented Sharon Butler, managing director of The Gift Tree Company. “We are delighted to be part of this worthwhile initiative.”
“It is becoming increasingly difficult for schools to get funding or raise money,” commented Alan McCarthy from Gifts4Fones. “This is a fantastic way for schools to generate much needed resources as well as helping the environment.”