How you can help get a computer into the hands of a student in need

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Communities In Schools is partnering with Comp-U-Dopt to give thousands of students in need a computer to be able to do their school work online.

Houston Independent School District told ABC13 if the district supplied a new laptop to every student it would need about 155,000 devices.

Currently, through its Power Up program, the district has distributed 60,000 laptops with thousands more on the way. However, it still leaves 50,000 students without the technology and the district does not have the budget to cover the costs.

"This was a big eye opener for all of us," said Superintendent Grenita Lathan. "Not only as it relates to our students but staff members who don't have access to technology and so like I said we had some other priorities but this of course has moved to the top of our list."

Matt Garcia-Pratts, Chief Operations Officer for Communities in Schools-Houston, said due to the COVID-19 crisis and schools turning to online learning, the need for access to a computer or high speed internet became an essential school supply overnight.

"It's no longer a luxury to have these things, it's now becoming a need just to go to school," Garcia-Pratts said. "Every day that a child goes without a computer is a day that they are falling a little bit further behind in school."

The organization partnered with Comp-U-Dopt to distribute computers to students in need. In May, the duo has handed out 5,000 desktops to students in five different school districts.

"You can see on their faces the excitement, the gratitude and in some cases you see relief."

Comp-U-Dopt said they are running out of supply and need help getting this technology to more than 30,000 families in need.

The non-profit is collecting gently-used computer equipment at a 'no-contact' donation Drive-Thru, on June 15. It will be held at their warehouse location, 1602 Airline Drive and it starts at 10 a.m.

You can also donate to Communities In Schools to help more families during the pandemic.
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