As school districts across the state begin the new school year in a distance-learning format, ensuring that every student has access to the necessary technology is a top priority. The need for technological devices is crucial and the digital divide is real.
With three children in Verrado schools, Angela and Kurt Watkins stay abreast of such educational issues in the community. When they learned that local students needed devices to access online learning, they responded.
The Watkinses recently donated 20 Samsung Chromebooks for students at Dreaming Summit Elementary School, 13335 W. Missouri Ave., Litchfield Park, one of six Title I schools in Litchfield Elementary School District.
LESD operates 16 elementary and middle schools in Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear and Litchfield Park.
“We enjoy contributing to the success of our community,” Mrs. Watkins explained. “Everything is online right now so kids really need computers for schoolwork and to protect their mental health by staying connected to the outside world.”
LESD depends on strong community support, Dreaming Summit Principal Sarah Lewis said.
“Schools cannot do it alone,” Ms. Lewis said. “We are grateful for a supportive community that partners with us to ensure academic rigor in a caring environment.”
Ms. Lewis commended the couple’s generosity and said their show of support “is a strong message that our community values quality education and will do what it takes to help students prepare for a lifetime of achievement.”
“This is likely the greatest challenge public education will face in our lifetime. Such a profound act of kindness bolsters teacher morale and inspires us to work even harder for our students,” she said.
“This is a really tough situation from every angle. It’s hard to see everyone so stressed out,” Mrs. Watkins said.
“We hope this will bring some relief to families who are burdened by the pandemic,” her husband added.