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Phoenix foundation, businesses to provide laptops to students

(Getty Images/Scott Olson)

PHOENIX — The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation is partnering up with community businesses and organizations to help keep students learning through the coronavirus outbreak.

Joining forces with Data Doctors and Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology, the foundation is providing critical laptop and internet access to K-12 students through a community laptop drive.

The first 100 devices will be sent to the Phoenix Union School District as part of the foundation’s pilot program. From there, the program will expand to other school districts.

“The digital divide is far and wide. Equitable access to technology has long been an issue,” Phoenix Union Superintendent Chad Gestson said in a press release. “School closures did not create this crisis, it has simply shed light on the disparities that have always existed.”

In addition, Cox Communications is offering low-cost residential service for students in need.

“During this unparalleled time of upheaval, Arizona students and teachers need our community’s support to facilitate virtual learning,” President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Foundation Todd Sanders said in the release.

“We’re leveraging our business and government relationships to create a partnership that will connect students with the resources they need to learn while practicing social distancing.”

Through the partnership, the foundation is working with Data Doctors and AZ StRUT to collect laptops, Chromebooks, netbooks and chargers that can be refurbished and distributed to students who need access to these vital learning tools, the release said.

“The ‘Digital Divide’ that has kept those with little or no access to technology at a disadvantage is being made worse by the coronavirus pandemic,” Ken Colburn of Data Doctors said in the release. “The learn-from-home initiatives being stressed by our government and schools isn’t even an option for those with no access to technology.

“We encourage every business owner or individual that has older laptops, Chromebooks or even netbooks to consider donating them to help us provide some basic tools to those students that are in the greatest need in this extraordinary moment in time.”

Community members and businesses can take their devices to any of Data Docs’ 17 locations for a curbside, contactless drop-off.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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