RENO, Nev. — A group of community and business leaders today launched an initiative to raise sufficient funds to ensure that every student in Washoe County has access to a laptop computer to enable distance learning.
Businesses will be asked to sponsor computers for individual schools — or classrooms in individual schools, including the public charter schools overseen by the Washoe County School District.
More than 7,000 students in Washoe County are in need of a computer with just a week before the new school year is scheduled to begin, the private nonprofit Education Alliance of Washoe County estimates.
Even though the school district received a grant to purchase 4,000 computers, that’s not nearly enough to provide for all the students who don’t have access to a computer or those who share their parents’ work computers.
The community group that’s spearheading the fundraising effort, Support Our Students, is working closely with the Education Alliance to bridge the computer-access gap. To contribute, go to https://ed-alliance.org/donate/#laptop.
Many participants in Support Our Students originally came together in 2016 as “Save Our Schools,” which successfully built voter support for WC-1, which provides funds for school maintenance and construction.
Faced with a new crisis today, leaders of Support Our Students urged businesses and individuals to act quickly to ensure that students have the tools they need to learn. When schools reopen next week, middle and high-school students will attend a hybrid of in-person and remote-learning classes. Elementary students will return to in-person classes.
“Good education of our young people is a cornerstone of our community’s future,” Support Our Students said in a prepared statement. “We recognize that these are difficult times for many individuals and businesses, but we are confident that our forward-thinking residents will join with us to provide these much-needed educational tools for our students.”