For years, Americans Helping Americans® has been working to help bridge the digital divide for elementary, middle and high school students in the rural Appalachian community of Beattyville, Kentucky, by providing them with the computers their parents cannot afford and enabling them to keep up with their classmates on homework and online research projects at home.
Most recently we have partnered with the nonprofit organization, Laptops 4 Learning (L4L), to provide others with the ability to acquire laptops for themselves.
L4L reported in February that utilizing a $7,000 grant from Americans Helping Americans®, today a single mother of three who had enrolled in a nursing program – but was only able to afford to pay for a laptop for herself – was awarded laptops for each of her three children.
Another four students enrolled in Gateway Community College’s Information Technology program in Phoenix, Arizona, received much-needed high performance 16 GB laptops.
Twenty-two students in the Isaac School District in Phoenix and their parents, who are participants in the district’s Family Engagement program, were able to purchase laptops at a significantly discounted price.
And L4L executive director Brenda Powell reported that L4L “combined the remaining funding from the Americans Helping Americans® grant with funding received from AZ Women’s Partnership, to provide 100 students at Wrightson Ridge Elementary, a Title 1 school in Sahuarita, Arizona, with their very own laptop.
“These recipients were hand selected by the counselors and teachers to receive this donation,” said Brenda. “They were struggling and falling behind because, while they had access to a laptop at school, they did not have one at home. This is known as the ‘homework gap.’”
Among the Wrightson Ridge parents who received laptops was Sabrina who expressed gratitude “for the opportunity to further provide the tools for my children’s education by helping them receive free Chromebook computers.”
For her children, Nehemiah, Nathaniel, Samuel and Christopher, “learning for them is difficult to start with, and I hope by providing them with more technology at home, it will encourage them to explore the possibilities of learning in different ways by using a computer.
“My children’s education is important and I want them to learn that knowledge is a tool we all need in life. Thank you very much and I appreciate all that you do for every student.”
Brenda commented that, “We at L4L pride ourselves on stretching grant funding by first of all encouraging those who can contribute towards the cost of their laptop to do so, and secondly by combining grant funding and/or donations we receive, in order to supply greater numbers of students with laptops.”
She added that L4L averages 7-10 students weekly who register with them requesting a laptop.
“Thirteen of them took advantage of purchasing their laptop at pricing less than the already low list price of $145 for Chromebooks and $285 for Windows laptops,” reported Brenda. “We strive to meet students where they are financially, in our effort to close the digital technology divide.
“Please know that we could not succeed in doing what we do without the generosity of grant organizations such as Americans Helping Americans®.
“It is so nice to be associated with Americans Helping Americans® and to be able to spread the word about how you live out your creed and live up to your name.”