PITTSBURGH, PA — The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation, the Education Partnership and Computer Reach will hold a “Pack the Bus” technology drive for students in Pittsburgh. The event will occur Aug. 15 in the Stage AE parking lot on the North Shore from noon to 4 p.m.
Individuals and companies are asked to donate used laptops, tablets or make a monetary donation. Every 36th donor will win a special prize. Prizes include autographed memorabilia from Bettis, the Steelers Hall of Fame running back.
“We want to inspire all kids and give them an equal opportunity to learn and thrive. We live in a digital world and access to the internet is vital for all students,” Bettis said.
In southwestern Pennsylvania, more than 36,000 students have been disconnected from their schooling due to lack of internet access and a WiFi-equipped device to connect.
“The pandemic’s effect of forcing students, teachers, and schools to pivot education to a remote environment has illuminated the vast discrepancies in technology between under-resourced versus affluent schools,” said Josh Whiteside, Education Partnership executive director. “We hope to equip each student in Southwestern PA with their own laptop or tablet, as well as other critical basic school supplies, by the start of next school year.”
Donors are asked to stay in their car and a volunteer will collect their donation when they pull up to the parking lot.