Fundraiser targets laptops for under-served local school
Children’s laptops are the most essential learning tool right now, given the need to pivot between virtual and in-class learning this year. For under-served public schools, whose communities are facing increased economic hardship due to COVID-19, it’s just not possible for parents to step in and help out.
“The pandemic has exacerbated many existing inequalities in society,” says Kristin Buchanan, Junior School Action Coordinator. “One such inequality is the digital divide and its link to educational opportunity.”
Thanks to a new partnership between Branksome Hall and the Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS), Branksome families will be able to support Rose Avenue Public School in St. James Town, with direct, online donations earmarked to fund 20 portable technology devices.
“The diverse student population at Rose Avenue is drawn from 22 apartment towers housing more than 27,000 people,” says Buchanan. “Many of their families are new immigrants to Canada and already face extreme financial challenges, which have now been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The idea for the initiative, first expressed by a Grade 4 parent, builds on an existing partnership with Rose Avenue, one of Branksome’s ‘Triangle of Hope’ partners, that also includes the Queenstown Get Ahead Project School in South Africa.
After connecting with the school’s principal, it was decided the drive would serve to purchase 10 iPads and 10 ChromeBooks, as a way of building up the school’s home-use inventory, says Buchanan.
Linking parents, the Junior School’s service work and Branksome’s Advancement team, the fundraiser is indeed a team effort for these trying times. A direct donation link for TFSS, who will in turn channel the funds, is now active here.