WSOC-TV has been reporting about the difficulties some Charlotte-Mecklenburg students are having with remote learning. It has been almost impossible for students without computers.
A bank, nonprofit and school are working together to get laptops to students at Hidden Valley Elementary School.
Laptop computers given out Tuesday at the school will make learning much easier for some lucky first and second grade students.
“E2D (reached) out to our school because they were aware of the digital divide in this community,” said Kaz Muhammad, assistant principal at Hidden Valley Elementary School. “Most of the families in this community don’t have second computers at home.”
E2D stands for “eliminate the digital divide.” E2D runs laptop refurbishment labs led by high school students throughout Mecklenburg County.
E2D’s mission is to ensure that every student in North Carolina has affordable access to essential at-home technology and digital literacy training to support academic success and prepare students for college, careers and beyond.
“Truist Bank was able to meet the need by refurbishing approximately 300 of their company’s laptops,” Muhammad said.
So far, ED2 has distributed nearly 300 laptops to first and second grade students at the school.
“The goal is to do all grade levels at the school,” he said.
Given the clarity that has emerged regarding the digital divide for students, Pat Millen, president and co-founder of E2D, believes that in the long term, there will be a better and more consistent response to providing technology to families within the social safety net.
“One-hundred percent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg families need access to home-based computers and digital broadband access,” Millen said. “With the light shining on this social inequity presently, my hope is that corporate Charlotte and government will resolve to address permanent actions to make that access available to all families.”
Over seven years, E2D has made great strides to create digital solutions for families in the greater Charlotte community.
“I’m optimistic that digital inclusion solutions will emerge on the other side of this pandemic, and families with need presently will access this technology soon and prosper as a result,” Millen said.
Getting kids connected has been a push for the school district. At the beginning of the school year, it said 16,000 students didn’t have reliable internet.
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
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