27 Mar Camden students to receive laptops during COVID-19 school closures
High school students at six district schools will receive laptops to help them learn remotely as schools remain closed to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Superintendent Katrina McCombs said Friday that donations totaling $400,000 will enable the district to purchase Dell Chromebooks, along with licensing fees for Google platforms.
The technology will go to students at Camden and Woodrow Wilson high schools, as well as Big Picture Learning Academy, Brimm Medical Arts, Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy and Pride Academy.
Students can access the internet through Comcast’s Internet Essentials and free Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, which have been made more widely available in the midst of the outbreak.
Donors include the Camden Education Fund, Townsend Press and Campbell Soup Company.
“In these extraordinary times, we are seeing individuals and organizations step up to support Camden families,” said McCombs.
“As educators, we have always known that the digital divide is an equity issue. Now, with students at home and schools closed, it is more important than ever,” she said.
“With this generous gift, I’m thrilled to announce that all of our high school students will be able to continue their learning at home, prepare for critical exams like the SAT, and complete college essays and applications.”
The Camden Education Fund, a nonprofit supporting Camden public schools, committed $200,000.
“As we consulted educators on how to best support the school district at this unprecedented time, all conversations returned to the digital divide,” said executive director Naeha Dean. “In 2020, our secondary students should have access to technology to support their learning, crisis or not.”
George Norcross III, chairman of Cooper University Hospital, worked to secure additional funding from Townsend Press and Campbell Soup Co., the school district’s statement said.
Townsend Press, a West Berlin-based publishing company, specializes in educational materials.
“Today’s high school students are tomorrow’s leaders, and it’s critical that they have all the resources they need to be successful,” said Townsend co-founder John Langan.