LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The kids are home and teachers are trying to make sure students don't fall behind. That's the reason why here at 13 Action News, we're launching our Super Summer Rise campaign. Through the campaign, we will share stories we hope help you and your family as the kids continue their education from their living rooms.
CHROMEBOOKS FOR KIDS
There are thousands of Las Vegas valley families who don't have one crucial tool... a computer! As part of our Super Summer Rise campaign, anchor Tricia Kean looks at the effort to supply valley kids with Chromebooks.
HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS FIRST
13 Action News has your first look at a major purchase by the Clark County School District. These CCSD employees are processing more than 42,000 Chromebooks. It's an investment of more than $14 million. High school seniors are among the first expected to get these devices.
"We obviously want to make sure that seniors have the credits they need to graduate," said Kirsten Searer with the Public Education Foundation. "And then, they're moving on to other high school students who are in credit bearing courses."
MORE THAN $20M STILL NEEDED
The Public Education Foundation is teaming up with Clark County School District to raise funds. An estimated 1/3 of CCSD students do not have access to a computer at home. To fill the void, the district needs to buy another 72,000 devices at a cost of more than $20 million. But that's not all. There's also the concern about internet access.
"The district is looking into purchasing hotspots. Organizations such as Cox Communications are offering discounted internet for low income families," said Searer.
Las Vegas valley mom Maria is hoping her family can get their hands on a Chromebook.
"We don’t know what’s going on," said Maria.
Her third grader Fernando hasn't been able to do any school work since he's been at home. She's especially concerned for her high school senior. Armando has been trying to keep up with class using a tablet. But Maria admits, it's not as user friendly as a computer.
CHROMEBOOKS BEYOND QUARANTINE
"We try to do the work on the system, but sometimes it doesn’t go through," said Maria.
The Chromebooks will also be useful well beyond the COVID-19 quarantine. Greenspun Middle School science teacher Anamaria Badal was one of the first to use the devices in the classroom and says she's seen immediate benefits.
"They were so engaged and it spoke to them... All of a sudden I could see their work and their thought process, because I can literally see what they’re doing on their Chromebook," says Mrs. Badal.
She says she thinks Chromebooks should be an integral part of teaching.
CCSD LOOKING FOR DONATIONS
"This has to be available for all students and it’s a matter of necessity. Even after the pandemic, every student should have access to this," said Mrs. Badal.
The Clark County School District is looking for corporate donations, along with the public's financial support.
Click here for more information on how to donate to the District's Technology Fund