RENO, Nevada — At the behest of Lee LaRussa, the Newton B. Thomas Family/Newtron Group Fund donated $30,000 to the Education Alliance of Washoe County, a nonprofit for academic achievement and workforce development. This donation will support the nonprofit’s effort to get laptop computers into the hands of students who need them for remote learning. The Education Alliance is working closely with Support Our Students, a volunteer group formed out of the Save Our Schools campaign to help supply students with the computers they need.
“This generous donation will make a significant difference in our effort to assist the 7,000 students who began this school year without access to a laptop computer for school work,” said Kendall Inskip, executive director of the Education Alliance of Washoe County. “The Newton B. Thomas Family/Newtron Group Fund demonstrates an inspirational level of community involvement.”
The foundation is associated with The Newtron Group, a Louisiana-based group that’s one of the largest privately-owned Specialty Construction contractors in the United States and among the nation’s leading Electrical and Instrumentation providers. They also offer a suite of innovative and customized Analytical, Automation, Heat Trace, Integration and Design solutions for a wide range of industries. Newtron now serves the Reno-Tahoe area and is committed to sourcing all materials from local Nevada vendors.
“I want to give a huge thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and The Newtron Group for making these funds available to benefit our community,” said Lee LaRussa, Area Manager for the Newtron Group in Reno. “Newtron is proud to call Reno home and we are excited to have this amazing opportunity to give back.”
The donation comes as businesses throughout the community have been asked to sponsor computers for individual schools — or classrooms in individual schools, including the public charter schools overseen by the Washoe County School District.
Even though the school district received a grant to purchase 4,000 computers before the school year began, that was 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 district’s middle- and high-school students this year are attending a hybrid of in-person and remote-learning classes. Elementary students attend in-person classes.
Support Our Students is working closely with the Education Alliance to bridge the computer-access gap. Many participants in Support Our Students originally came together in 2016 as “Save Our Schools,” which successfully built voter support for WC-1, which provide funds for school maintenance and construction. To support their mission of providing computers to students, go to https://ed-alliance.org/donate/#laptop.
The non-profit Education Alliance of Washoe County focuses on developing business and community partnerships to support the 100-plus schools of the Washoe County School District in collaboration with UNR and TMCC to help students along their path to college and career readiness.