Textbook kindness: Buffalo State donates books to Riverside
blog by The Buffalo State Record • November 07, 2011 @ 7:00am
When technology upgrades made an entire set of textbooks obsolete, faculty and students in the Buffalo State Computer Information Systems department decided not to let them go to waste. Over 50 textbooks were donated to Riverside Institute of Technology high school.
Buffalo State recently upgraded from Microsoft Office 2007 to Microsoft Office 2010, which made hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks used in computer fundamentals courses outdated. Instead of dumping them into a recycle bin, assistant professor Ramona Santa Maria led an initiative to gather used books from faculty and students to donate to a local school that still uses Office 2003. She sent out emails to faculty and staff and mentioned the drive in her classes, gathering enough books to supply a full class of students at Riverside.
“I’m a big advocate of recycle and reuse,” Santa Maria said.
Limited budgets mean public school districts are not able to update their software as quickly as colleges, Santa Maria said. The donated textbooks can be a valuable resource for Riverside students.
“That’s a big impact, because we’re a poor district that may not always be able to afford textbooks,” said Vincent Corulli, program coordinator at Riverside.
The books will be used to teach a business computer applications class.
“Knowing the fiscal challenges the district faces each year, I was happy to be able to donate my desk copies,” said Melissa Smythe, a lecturer in the computer information systems department. Desk copies are textbooks given to a professor by a publisher.
The department has donated textbooks to Riverside once before, in 2008 when the college upgraded to the 2007 edition of Microsoft Office.
Initiatives like this are just one more step in Buffalo State’s efforts to reach out to the community, Santa Maria said.
“It helps the community, it helps us,” she said. “I’d like to think that this is the best way to recycle.”
High schools can also benefit from their relationships with area colleges, Corulli said. Riverside Institute of Technology already has a business partnership with Medaille College and participates in a student teaching program with Buffalo State.
“We’re really utilizing our partnerships and making them more engaging,” he said.
Smythe said she would like to see similar efforts expand across the college, encouraging more student involvement.
“It’s a nice opportunity for them,” she said.
(Photo via Flickr/jdfrens)