Students and teachers at Stapley Junior High School are thankful this week for a wireless mobile computer lab that will arrive at the Mesa school within the next few weeks.
The lab can be wheeled from room to room on a cart that stores and charges about 30 laptop computers connected through a wireless network.
"This is a building that is at capacity," Stapley principal Rodney Rich said. "And this is a computer lab that does not take up a classroom."
The Stapley Parent Booster Club needed to raise $25,000 for the lab but only had $6,500 after a year and a half of work.
Then two East Valley businesses each offered to match parents’ donations up to $8,333.33. The booster club responded with a giant "giving tree" in the school’s lobby to track the fund raising.
With the "dollar for dollar for dollar" motivation — $2 in matching funds for every dollar donated — money began to flow in. Parents rallied to fill the tree with leaves representing more than $12,000 in November alone.
UTAZ Development Corporation president Craig Willet and Empire Southwest president Jeff Whiteman delivered their checks to Stapley on Wednesday, giving the school more than $35,000 total.
Both businessmen have children who attend Stapley and Barbara Bush Elementary School, where a similar campaign is under way.
"What has surprised us is how much the school has rallied and exceeded its objectives," Willet said.