TECH FOR SCHOOL South Valley Middle School student Jairo Mendoza, 13, is handed a Chromebook laptop by Monica Nacasio during a distribution event Oct. 14. Frontier Communications and the California Emerging Technology Fund donated the laptops. Photo: Robert Eliason
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The Gilroy Unified School District has accepted a donation of 100 Chromebook laptops from Frontier Communications as gifts to South Valley Middle School students to facilitate participation in distance learning.

“We are grateful to Frontier Communications and the California Emerging Technology Fund for the generous donation of 100 Chromebooks,” said Deborah Padilla, director of Secondary Education and Curriculum. “Providing online access to all students in the community has been a challenge; yet the generosity of businesses and agencies such as this helps in reducing the digital divide and supports our entire community. This donation will inspire those receiving this gift to pursue their academic dreams but also to pay this forward when they have the opportunity.”

Drive-up distribution of the devices to parents of South Valley Middle students took place on Oct. 14 at the SVMS campus. Parents will own the Chromebook and be encouraged to have their children use it to participate in classroom instruction as requested by the school, enable home distance learning and increase parent engagement with the school, district and public services.

Clarissa Solsa (center), 11, was one of many South Valley Middle School students to receive a Chromebook. Photo: Robert Eliason

“Frontier Communications is pleased to join with CETF to provide devices to enable students to connect to the internet, their teachers and their classrooms to engage in distance learning. We recognize the additional challenges created by the Covid pandemic that are impacting families and the education opportunities of students in high-need school districts,” said Joe Gamble, senior vice president for Frontier Communications. “Frontier remains committed to the California communities we serve and is proud to partner in helping Gilroy Unified, 15 other school districts and 350 families living on Tribal Lands adapt to the increased reliance on internet-based learning.”

CETF President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak said the coordinated effort with Frontier and school districts includes following best practices for distributing and managing devices and supporting basic digital literacy training for parents receiving the Chromebooks. 

“This collaboration will help pivot to the future to effectively incorporate the added technology as a learning tool to enhance distance teaching and learning with deep parent engagement to continue to support academic opportunities,” she said.

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