PHOENIX — The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is hosting a community laptop drive to provide technology to K-12 students as they cope with virtual learning due to the coronavirus. The chamber is asking Phoenicians to donate phones, laptops, tablets and more to give to kids.
On March 30, 2020, Governor Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman, announced that in an abundance of precaution against COVID-19, all Arizona schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. Many Arizona schools have started up again in recent weeks with virtual learning. But, according to the chamber, many students don’t have consistent access to technology.
“This access gap perpetuates inequity for underrepresented populations,” the chamber said on its website. “Our goal is to ensure all students have access to the tools they need to continue to learn, challenge their minds, and (for our seniors) seek postsecondary opportunities.”
All items will be refurbished by Data Doctors, and hard drives will be wiped to offer recipients a new and improved laptop, according to the press release from the chamber. Data Doctors has said they will take laptops that are no longer functioning, as they can be repaired or used for parts. Any donation that can’t be used in the program will be recycled.
Cox has also committed to equip homes with wireless internet so they can easily access their classes as the school year progresses, according to the statement.
The program is being piloted with the Phoenix Union High School District for the first 100 devices. After the pilot, it will be expanded to include other school districts whose students are in need. Parents in need of devices for their children will need to get in touch with Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson’s office.
Community members can bring their unused phones, laptops, tablets, chargers and other devices to one of 17 Valley Data Doctors locations. Drop off will be curbside and contactless. Anyone who doesn’t have items to donate but wishes to help can donate money instead.