Right now, in fact as you are reading this, there are hundreds of students at Beattyville Elementary School who are hoping that their dream of a having a desktop computer in their home (with broadband internet access, of course) for Christmas will come true.
Thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® we have been able to “bridge the digital divide” for more than 50 students at the school, along with their school-age siblings and parents.
And this year, thanks to people like you, we are on track to do the same for 30 more.
Working with our partner there in rural Appalachian Kentucky, the Lee County Family Resource Center (LCFRC), at least 30 students (hopefully more if more of our generous supporters are able to step up and make it happen) will be selected to receive an all-in-one computer with age-appropriate software enabling them to do their homework online at home – something they are unable to do today.
But the those chosen to get a computer is not based on the luck of the draw – but need and hard work.
LCFRC director Sherry Lanham’s office is located right in the elementary school and she is in daily contact with the students, teachers and administrators who know which of their students would put a computer in their home to best use.
“One of the most amazing programs last year was the “Computers for Appalachia” program that we were able to participate in for our students,” said Sherry.
Every child seeking a computer must write an essay detailing exactly why they need a computer, and what they will use it for.
“We have children working so hard on their essays for a chance of receiving a new computer,” says Sherry. “Parents have become involved and actually work with their children with the hope of being selected to receive a new computer.”
And the excitement is in the air at Beattyville Elementary.
“We have told the students that the winners will be chosen based on attendance, attitude, hard work, their essay, and need,” she told us.
Last year, one family who received a computer lives in an apartment complex and their home became in effect a computer lab for the other children living there.
“They worked with other families in the complex to share the cost of the internet bill and all the children there use the computer to do their homework, research projects, and other activities,” said Sherry.
We were able to meet our match in October to raise the funds necessary to reach our goal of 30 computers and on behalf of Sherry and all the students who have received computers – and those who will be having their best Christmas ever – we express our heartfelt gratitude for making it all happen.
And, just a reminder, there’s still time to help us exceed our goal. Each $300 we can raise between now and Christmas is one more computer we can put into the hands of one more deserving child, and one more deserving family.