PLAINFIELD, NJ — Superintendent Dr. Diana Mitchell told Plainfield Board of Education members Tuesday that the district received a donation of 20 HP® Chromebooks for students experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 crisis. The donation was made by MRA International, Inc. of Long Branch to help ease the burden for some students as they learn from home.
Bruno Tirone, President and CEO of MRA International Inc., said his company does business with the Plainfield Public School District. When he was asked why he chose to donate the laptops to Plainfield, he said "I believe in kids. I used to be one of those crazy kids, an underprivileged kid, years and years ago. And I know the way I used to feel when I was that age."
He added, "This is giving something back not to the district but to the kids of the district, and that's key. That kid is going to remember that for rest of his or her life."
Shana Solomon-Christian, a veteran social worker and tireless advocate for the children, received the laptops on behalf of the district. One of the programs she oversees is the McKinney Vento program that supports families experiencing homelessness.
"They're going to go to the students who are currently displaced so that they have access to technology just like everyone else in the district does," Solomon-Christian said. Those students will be provided with hotspots, or MiFi connections.
Dr. Mitchell said 700 MiFis were ordered for the McKinney Vento families. "A lot of our students' parents are undocumented, so they can't participate in a lot of the other companies' offerings because they don't have a Social Security number. We had to go above and beyond to get them something for home."
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