MCLEANSVILLE, N.C. – The laptop computer shortage is being felt across the nation and in North Carolina school districts.
The third-largest district in the state, Guilford County Schools, has more than 78,000 students. More than 5,000 started the academic year without a remote learning device.
Kiara Freeman's four children are in elementary school, ranging from kindergarten to the fourth grade. In the first weeks of school, they shared their mother's computer, tablet, and cell phone to get their work done.
"Reaching out to Guilford County Schools, I know they’re trying to do their best and to have someone else that’s trying to help with Guilford County Schools, getting the kids the resources they need, it’s a blessing,” Freeman says.
Brittany Cleckley of iAlign Dance Company in Greensboro heard stories like this from her own dance students and stepped up to the plate. The dance company focuses on community outreach and education, so Cleckley organized a laptop give-in.
"Our students’ friends started telling other friends and families, so it kind of became a movement, and we went with it. If the community has a need, we’re here to service them,” Cleckley says.
People from around the Triad donated laptops and devices to give to students without one. Since March, Cleckley and her team have given away nearly 300 laptops.
"At the end of the day, these children will be doctors, lawyers, dancers, politicians, and that all begins in the classroom and that’s what we’re trying to focus on,” she says.
The movement has garnered national attention. Cleckley and her dance company were featured on Good Morning America recently.
You can donate a device this weekend at College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro on Saturday, September 5, from 10 a.m. to noon. For other ways to donate, click here.