PATERSON, NJ  – An online campaign to raise funds for the purchase of online devices and internet access for Paterson Public Schools students to continue learning while schools are closed has been launched. Since Friday nearly 50 donations have been made by private individuals in amounts ranging from five dollars to more than $1,000. 

The effort was set up, Superintendent of Schools Eileen Shafer said, because “having thousands of Paterson Public Schools students on the wrong side of the digital divide during this COVID-19 crisis is simply unacceptable.” 

Before schools closed on March 17th, students left with paper packets for the first 10-day round of home instruction. The student work that has been turned in for grading has been delivered to the Central Office building, where a few district employees have been volunteering to sort the work by school and grade level.

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While the District began distributing 7,000 Chromebooks to its high school students last week and will purchase 1,667 Chromebooks with reapportioned budget funds for distribution to middle school students this week, officials say that nearly two-thirds of the district’s 29,000 students will still be without a device or access the internet while schools are closed.

“We are all enormously grateful for the generosity these people have shown for our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer, adding that the difference donors are making is simple. “A student with internet access and a device is connected to teachers and classmates, and engaged in online learning experiences. A student without them is alone in isolation doing paperwork.”

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.

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