Generous donation transforms computer lab

Generous donation transforms computer lab
Kiki and Neil Rood with their great-grandchildren, Avery, Maddie and Peyton Hoover

In the 1990s, when their granddaughter, Jennifer, was in school, Neil and Kiki Rood donated the funds to establish the Rood Family Computer Lab at San Jose Episcopal Day School. Since then, the world of computers has changed. Desiring their great-grandchildren to have access to up-to-date technology while at school, the Roods have donated $86,000 so the school can redo its computer lab.

“They came for Grandparents’ Day,” said Jenny Clarke, SJEDS director of development and marketing, noting once they were on campus the couple realized the computer lab was outdated. “Technology has changed. Instead of using computers just in computer class, we use them now as a tool for everything (in education),” said Clarke. “The Roods are extremely generous. They are doing this because they feel technology is important, not for recognition.”

The Roods’ granddaughter, Jennifer Rood Hoover, attended San Jose Episcopal and met her husband, Ryan, while in elementary school, Clarke said. Hoover’s daughters, Peyton and Avery, are currently enrolled in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten respectively.

With the donation, San Jose Episcopal plans to transform the existing lab by purchasing modular furniture and 40 new Microsoft Surface Pro hybrid tablets and laptops that have the functionality of a desktop with the mobility of a laptop and an intuitive touch screen, said Clarke.

In addition, the room will have newly-painted walls, new printers, custom cabinetry and “funky” artwork, she said. Included among other “cool” new computer toys will be BB8 Sphero app-enabled droids, and hand-held GPS devices for geo-caching. San Jose Episcopal’s “Jose the Bear” collection of bears, which have traveled throughout the world, will also make their home in the space, she said.

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