WHEELING – Low-income kids in Ohio County schools may soon have their own Chromebooks to keep and take to college later thanks to Comcast.
Comcast on Friday announced the donation of 1,200 computers to schools in Ohio County, 850 of which will be for individual students in the school district, said Bob Grove, vice president of communications for the Comcast Keystone area.
Of the remaining computers, 250 are for the North Wheeling Community Center and 100 for the Youth Service Systems in East Wheeling.
The community center and YSS will also receive financial donations of $ 15,000 each to address the issue of “digital equity” in the community.
Comcast celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program in 2021 with Project UP, Comcast’s $ 1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people over the next 10 years with the tools, resources and skills to succeed in a digital world.
The company has pledged to donate $ 15 million to students and low-income households across the country to not only help close the ‘homework gap’ but also put them on track. of future professional success. The amount includes around 25,000 free laptops that will be donated to students, seniors, veterans and adults.
Ohio County schools have been selected as a partner in the effort, according to Grove.
“It’s a way for us to make sure throughout the community – the great job the schools are doing – that we can complement that and help them,” he said. “These computers are for low-income families and low-income students who are not connected to the Internet today.
“We want them to be connected and to be successful. We want them to be able to participate in the digital economy in the future. “
Students need to be able to access the internet and access all the learning available to them, Grove said.
Comcast has partnered with groups such as the North Wheeling Community Center and YSS to establish “lift zones” – broadband hubs where students can access broadband internet when they don’t have it. the House.
Now the focus is on providing devices and internet access at home, he said.
Ohio County Deputy Superintendent of Schools Rick Jones said the school district was notified at the end of the summer of the donation.
“We have a lot of kids who are really going to see an interest in getting these laptops,” he said.
Jones said the details of who gets the computers and how they will be distributed are still being determined.
Right now, students in Ohio County schools are already receiving a Chromebook from the school district for their personal use, but the devices don’t belong to them.
Those who receive Chromebooks from Comcast will be able to take them with them to college.
Reverend Darrell Cummings of the North Wheeling Community Youth Center said the center has a long-standing relationship with Comcast.
“Comcast’s generous contribution of $ 15,000 and 250 laptops will go a long way in helping us fight digital equity in the Tri-State region as we will be working through sister organizations such as the Apostolic Temple of Bethlehem in Wheeling , Shiloh Apostolic Faith Assembly in Weirton, Greater Love Belmont County Ministries and the Ohio Valley Pastors Tri-State Association – as well as other schools and organizations, ”Cummings said.
Tammy Kruse, President of YSS, said the $ 15,000 donation will allow the agency to “make a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable children and adults in our community, helping us prevent homelessness. and to provide tangible, emotional and mental health. support through our many programs.
“Laptops will give the young people we serve the technology they need to be successful in school,” she said.