AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – Students at several Richmond county schools are set to receive new Verizon laptops. It’s a part of a new learning initiative.
“It’s long overdue, in my opinion,” said Rhonda Askew, a parent of a Hephzibah Middle School student.
Rhonda Askew has two children doing virtual learning this year. Last year was a challenge for her because of the lack of technology.
“One was provided a laptop and one was not. So, it was actually kind of difficult to try to have both of them do it at the same time,” said Askew.
This year her son will be getting his own laptop, thanks to the Verizon innovative learning program.
“If a program like this would’ve been around during that time, I think my children would’ve been more successful in their academic endeavors,” she said.
Hephzibah Middle School is one of five middle schools that opted into the program. Three thousand students will be getting laptops. It’s an effort to break down some technology barriers for students in the area.
“It’s definitely their right to have what they need to be successful adults, and this is one of them,” she said.
And Richmond County has been steadfast in breaking those barriers. Earlier in the week school leaders introduced the new wifi on wheels program to help students get access to their assignments. And these laptops will give even more kids a chance to get their education.
“The computer themselves already come with connectivity so they have unlimited data plans from verizon, so every student in all 5 middle schools can automatically connect, they don’t need to use the wifi on wheels,” said Malinda Cobb, the Associate Superintendent of Academic Services.
Other schools getting laptops include – A.R. Johnson magnet school, Langford middle school, spirit creek middle school, and Tutt middle school. It comes at a time when getting students back on track is a top priority. Malinda Cobb with the Richmond county board of education says the pandemic brought light to the technological barriers each family faces.
“It did show us how wide that gap could be and we wanted to have an equitable learning environment. So you may have heard me say this before, but it’s as vital as electricity and water,” said Cobb.
Students are set to receive their new laptops on Friday, that’s the same they’ll be getting the results of their Georgia Milestone Assessments.