NORTH HOLLYWOOD : $10,000 Gift Helps Burglarized School

A Los Angeles foundation has donated $10,000 to North Hollywood High School's magnet center at the Los Angeles Zoo to replace some of the $35,000 of computer equipment stolen from a bungalow classroom in early March.

The Ahmanson Foundation, which supports a variety of educational, cultural and social-service programs, donated the funds to enable the school to continue classes without serious interruption.

Barry Shapiro, a science and computer teacher at the magnet, said the funds will be used to purchase computer hardware and software. The loss of years of accumulated programs and equipment forced Shapiro to revise the curriculum for his computer classes and assign up to four students to share a terminal.

"Things are looking up," Shapiro said Wednesday after learning of the donation. "At least I'm smiling again today."

He added that the school still needs at least $20,000 to replace some of the television sets, videocassette recorders, laser discs and computer equipment stolen in the overnight theft.

The school is also working with the district to upgrade security in the magnet classrooms, which are located in the zoo's parking lot. The thieves entered through a hole they cut in a wall of the three-room bungalow and removed the equipment, most of which was bolted to carts or tables. Police still have no suspects.

Since the district does not reimburse such losses, the 280-student magnet program, which was created in 1981, is relying on private donations to replace the equipment.

In addition to the $10,000 from the foundation, the school has received about $1,000 in private donations. Administrators have also scheduled a benefit concert in early May.

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