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MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 13, 2001 The Mackay Centre School has reached the objective of a special fundraising campaign to replace stolen computer equipment thanks mainly to the support of Q-92 FM Radio and a large corporate donation.

Last June the Mackay Centre, which serves students aged four to 21 who are deaf, physically handicapped or have language and speech problems, had equipment valued at $26,454 stolen. Q92 began collecting donations from listeners and asking people to contribute. Morning-show hosts Aaron Rand and Paul Zakaib (a.k.a. Tasso) spearheaded this campaign. They will be honored by the school at a special ceremony on Friday September 14 at 10:30 a.m. The address is 3500 Decarie Boulevard.

The Mackay Centre, which is part of the English Montreal School Board, collected $26,778.53. This included a $10,000 donation from Philhobar Design based on the Q-92 publicity. Much of the stolen equipment had originallybeen donated. It was therefore not covered by insurance.

Mackay Centre Principal Ben Fagan explains that deaf students use the computers to improve their literacy and their receptive and expressive skills of American Sign Language. Through videos made with and for the students, they learn new signs or correct their own signing. Younger children can master basic computer skills as early as four years of age, says computer teacher Jacques Monfette. For physically handicapped students, teachers and specialists from the Mackay Center have been able to adapt access to these machines with special devices and programs purchased for the very specific needs of each child. Pupils with speech and language problems, meanwhile, take advantage of the many applications that were purchased for them. Computers are always ready to read a story or provide fun activities.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213