Because of the sudden school closures that happened due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Melaleuca has been working to help children continue to learn by donating computers to low-income families across Idaho.
With the 2019-2020 school year winding down and K-12th grade schools switching to online classes, students needed to stay connected to the classroom through technology. But for students without a home computer, participating in class assignments has become a nearly impossible task.
After realizing that some Idaho children were without access to devices for schooling, Melaleuca donated 55 computers and monitors to help close the digital divide. Not only did Melaleuca want to ensure students continue learning this school year, but it also felt impressed to help them prepare in case of alternate school scenarios next year.
Melaleuca began by presenting 19 workstations to administrators at two different schools around the company’s headquarters in southeast Idaho. Each of these school leaders had pre-selected families with the most need to receive the computers. And now that these computers are in the homes of these families, students are better equipped to stay connected with their teachers.
“Melaleuca’s generous gift comes at a critical time for a few of our most vulnerable students,” said EmmaLee Robinson, White Pine Charter School chair. “Our school is deeply committed to providing our students with a first-rate education — even during this historic time — and this donation makes it easier for these families to move forward with online learning.”
Several parents expressed gratitude for the computers, saying they wanted to make sure their children had the ability to keep learning, but they just needed the right tools to help their kids stay on top of their education. They expected this would be a “gamechanger” for their family.
To reach families in the Boise area who also had expressed a need, Melaleuca donated dozens of computers through Idaho Businesses for Education (IBE), a nonprofit association that works with businesses to transform Idaho’s education system. Melaleuca and IBE partnered with the Caldwell School District to ensure families in underserved and underrepresented communities would also have access to technology.
“So many students are without the technology that they need and are at risk of falling behind," said Robert Sanchez, IBE's vice president. "IBE is so very grateful to Melaleuca for the generous donation of computers to help families in need. Thank you, Melaleuca for helping make a positive difference by ensuring the essential technology students need for remote learning is available beyond the walls of their schools.”
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