PUEBLO, Colo. — Thanks to a generous grant, 275 school kids throughout Pueblo County will have their own Google Chromebooks to keep them engaged during the summer and better prepared for the upcoming school year. Pueblo City-County Library District was awarded a grant from the Sperry S. and Ella Graber Packard Fund for Colorado to purchase the devices and other materials.
Starting Wednesday, July 22, recipients will begin picking up their Chromebook school kit at PCCLD locations through curbside pickup.
In addition to a Chromebook, each recipient will receive:
·An age appropriate book, donated by Junior League of Pueblo.
·Two craft kits provided by Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center.
·A computer bag.
·Automatic enrollment in Pueblo Arts Alliance and Boys and Girls Club virtual programs.
·Enrollment in PCCLD’s Summer Reading program.
For selected households without internet service, more than 100 hotspots will also be given
Selection of the 275 students was made by community partners the Boys & Girls Club of Pueblo County, CASA of Pueblo, Posada of Pueblo and Pueblo Department of Social Services; selection was based on the level of need of the kids within each respective program.
“Posada families like many families struggle to navigate the complex and unfamiliar path of distance learning. Most lack access to internet in the home or appropriate hardware. The provision of these incredible tools will facilitate learning for children who otherwise have minimal access to online schooling. We are incredibly grateful to partner with the Pueblo City-County Library District to create important learning platforms for children in Pueblo,” said Posada’s Executive Director Kim Bowmam.
With the shift to an at-home-learning model during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students and families in need throughout Pueblo County were without the necessary tools to get the most out of the school year.
“The digital divide has significantly widened during the pandemic. Young people without access to the tools they need to succeed in the digital learning environment are at a significant disadvantage, unable to realize their full potential. That loss of potential has a devastating impact on our community. As an advocate for youth, the Sperry S. and Ella Graber Packard Fund for Pueblo is proud to partner with the Pueblo City-County Library District to ensure that every young person, regardless of their current circumstances, has what they need to thrive in the digital learning environment—this summer and beyond,” said Melanie Bravo, program director for the Sperry S. and Ella Graber Packard Fund for Pueblo.
PCCLD and its community partners will also offer regular virtual programs to keep students engaged and participating in programs throughout the summer. Virtual programming is also funded by the Sperry S. and Ella Graber Packard fund, an endowment created by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
In the upcoming months the library district will continue its efforts of filling the gaps families may experience with the current model of stay-at-home classrooms.
“The Packard Fund for Pueblo has provided such an impactful gift to Pueblo and as a community, we are extremely grateful. We are experiencing a time in history that is tumultuous and uncertain. The current pandemic has necessitated a need for additional support to our community and the Packard Fund provided. The library is proud to coordinate these initial resources for our community and will remain nimble to provide needed resources and services during these unprecedented times," said Nick Potter, director of PCCLD Community Relations and Development