Unused computers can help Arizona students lacking tech tools at home

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Two local organizations are working to make sure all Arizona students have the technology they need to continue their schoolwork at home.

Nearly 100,000 computers are needed by Arizona students who have been forced to switch to online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman acknowledged recently that online instruction disadvantages a number of families because they do not have access to computers or reliable internet connections at home.

The Arizona Technology Council and AZ StRUT (Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports Arizona’s technical education, need donated laptops and chargers that can be refurbished for use by these students, many of whom attend low-income, Title I schools.

“Our dwindling supply of donated laptops means we will have no others to work on beyond April 5. But, with a significant number of donations we can quickly ramp-up our efforts to distribute them to students in need,” said AZ StRUT Executive Director Tom Mehlert in a statement issued today. More than 900 laptops were distributed in the last three weeks of March, he added.

Devices being accepted for donation at this time are laptop computers and chargers. Other electronic devices will be accepted in the near future once mitigating steps have effectively flattened the curve of the pandemic.

Leave your unneeded laptops and chargers at Batteries Plus stores throughout the Valley. Obsolete laptops that cannot be refurbished will be responsibly recycled.

Organizations with large quantities of computer equipment to donate can arrange for pickup.

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