Since the start of February, a foundation in the Bronx has been trying to make sure every student in the borough has one, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Monday.READ MORE: Blind Brook Board Meeting Gets Heated Over Continued Closure Of Ridge Street Elementary School
Joel, a 6th grader, was so excited to finally have a computer, 12 months after MS 337 first shut down.
He’s among 1,000 student throughout the Bronx gifted a free Chromebook, which doesn’t have to be return at the end of the school year.
“I feel very excited because I can actually focus a lot more on school now,” Joel said.
The Bronx-based ADNIM Foundation donated $200,000 to buy 1,000 laptops. The Bronx Borough President’s office helped identify the students most in need.
“Before, I’ve had troubles. I’d use an iPad, I had troubles… getting work done,” another student said.
A lot of students have been using their own phones or their parents’ to do school work.READ MORE: Concerned Farmingdale State College Students Spearheading World Mobility Week's Car Free Day
“He can actually talk to his teacher and listen, because his teacher couldn’t hear him online. It’s been difficult on the phone, too. He has an iPhone, but it’s so small,” Natasha Alers said about her son.
The Bronx has about 200,000 students in total. As of January, roughly 84,000 computers had to be given out.
The New York City Department of Education says it ordered 500,000 internet-enabled iPads to help. But the Bronx Borough President’s office said it’s still receiving hundreds of calls from parents saying their children never got a device.
“The need is still at tens of thousands and that’s terrible. It’s horrible. It’s unacceptable,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Diaz said he’s hopeful that Meisha Ross Porter, the incoming schools chancellor, will also focus on getting all students internet access.
“That’s another big issue. Many of these kids may have these devices, but may not have Wi-Fi,” Diaz said.MORE NEWS: New York City Teachers, Parents Voice Concerns About Changing School COVID Safety Protocols
While school officials work on that issue, parents said they expect their kids to get to work.