Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation Launches Laptop Drive For Phoenix-Area Students During School Closures
The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation has partnered with Data Doctors, a computer repair company, and others to refurbish used laptops as part of an effort to bridge the digital divide between students distance learning from home during coronavirus school closures.
Jennifer Mellor said the foundation decided to organize the community laptop drive after Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman told her group that an estimated 85,000 students in the state don't have access to laptops or internet at home as schools are turning to virtual learning.
"In order to ensure that we have equitable learning across the state, we need to make sure that we were getting that technology into the hands of students," Mellor said.
The organizations asking community members to donate any used laptops they might have lying around at home. The laptops can be dropped off at Data Doctors locations throughout the Valley.
“That old laptop that’s sitting in your office, that’s sitting in a closet somewhere that you think is completely useless, probably isn’t for the use intended for the students," said Ken Colburn, Data Doctors' CEO.
Data Doctors staff can wipe the files off of the donated laptops or pull out the hard drive and give it back to donors. Colburn said community members can donate the laptops in any condition, even old and broken ones.
The first 100 laptops will be donated to students in the Phoenix Union High School District. The group is hoping to get additional donations to help students in other Maricopa County school districts.