The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia announced today it has received a $5 million contribution from Aileen and Brian Roberts, and their family, to give laptops to Philadelphia students so they can begin learning from home by mid-April.
According to a 2019 School District survey, only about half of third-through-12th-grade students have the equipment they need to begin participating in online lessons. This gift from the Roberts’ will support the purchase of 50,000 Chromebooks which will help level the playing field and ensure that all students who attend the 220 District-led public schools across Philadelphia have the tools they need to learn at home.
The 50,000 new laptops will be distributed along with the estimated 40,000 laptops already in school buildings to students and families. Once the equipment is received at the School District headquarters, it will be dispensed between April 13 and 17. During the interim two weeks, the laptops will be prepared for the students and the Philadelphia School District teachers will be trained to support distance learning.
Students and their families who don’t already have internet access can get it through any Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Philadelphia. Comcast is currently offering low-income families who don’t already have internet service two free months through Internet Essentials.