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ELDERSBURG - Carrolltowne Elementary School opened up its own computer lab to students in October after purchasing the computers last year through the Giant Food "Apples for Students" program.

Principal Ronald Burinsky is especially proud of the school's program since all of the computers were self-acquired. Two other schools in the county have complete computer labs, but they were donated by Potomac Edison Co.

The school's goal this year is to give every student the opportunity to use and develop some knowledge of a computer. Since the lab opened, grades three through five have been given direct classroom instruction in the use and functions of the computer.

Second graders now are being offered the instruction, with grade one and kindergarten to be added by spring.

The lab is supervised by Nancy Chapin, assistant principal, and Kathy Russenberger, the Parent Computer Volunteer Coordinator, both of whom have given many hours to setting up the lab and coordinating the volunteers' and class schedules.

Approximately 30 parent volunteers supervise the daily lab operations on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Chapin trained the parents before the lab opened to students. There are usually two parent volunteers in the lab to assist students at all times.

The lab is used daily 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Classes are divided into smaller groups and brought to the lab at the same time every week for 30-minute sessions.

While in the lab, students have assignments, usually involving desktop publishing, using the Children's Writing and Publishing Workshop software and/or math software.

Carrolltowne's computer lab consists of six Apple IIE computers, with two Apple GS computers on order. There also are 16 other computers available to students in the individual suites, with four more on order.

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