New York parent brings laptops and other resources directly to students

Posted 12 hours ago

Proposed by HP Inc.

Left: Tanesha Grant with Noel Dorsett, 8, and her parents, Carl Dorsett and Melissa Ramirez. Top middle: Chanel Demor, 6, is waiting for a laptop. Bottom middle: Kelly Rolan Ankoue (right), 17, with her mother, Diane Zagore. Right: Rosa Acevedo, 10, with her mother and brother, Wendy and Noah Gomez.

By Sarah Murry and Bellamy Richardson

If there’s one thought that keeps Harlem-based community organizer Tanesha Grant running at full capacity, it’s that nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, not only students in the public school system New Yorkers need help – so do their parents.

“We have to fight for years and years to change all the inequalities in our education system, but with a pandemic going on, our children need resources right now,” says Grant, a mother of three. In New York City, which has the largest school district in the country serving more than 1.1 million students in 1,800 schools, this has been felt particularly acutely. “As someone with a small family to turn to, I know how difficult it is to be a parent trying to raise children and run the education system without any support. ”

She founded the nonprofit Alliance Parents Supporting Parents NYC (PSP) and made it her mission to help as many parents as possible emotionally and financially. Sometimes that means paying overdue utility bills and rents. Other times, it means forging partnerships, like the one with HP, that will help students get the technology they need to avoid being left behind academically.

PSP recently partnered with the new HP Partnership and Technology for Humanity (PATH) initiative, as part of the company’s goal to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people by 2030, to organize laptop giveaways and fundraising events in communities most in need. So far, HP has donated more than 400 laptops and printers, computer supplies and skills-building materials to students in elementary school through university.

At a PSP event last summer at PC Richard & Sons in Harlem, tears flowed – both from grateful and relieved parents and upset children. Ishmila, 13, a grade 9 student at A. Philip Randolph received a laptop, printer and paper. “This will help me with my homework because I don’t really have any electronics to do my homework, and if I need to print something, I can, with paper,” he said. she declared. “My sister told me it was good to have her own computer.

Similar partnerships have made a difference in cities across the country. In Washington, DC, where more than 20,000 children do not have internet access, the Digital Equity in DC Education coalition is pushing for every student and teacher to have computers, reliable internet connectivity in schools and schools. homes and digital literacy education integrated into the program.

Tanesha Grant with Yanibel, Anabel and Ana Leon at the PSP Contest in New York.
Tanesha Grant with Yanibel, Anabel and Ana Leon at the PSP Contest in New York.

“It’s empowering knowing that there are people out there who have never met you but think enough of you to treat you to a new laptop,” Grant says. “Most recipients of laptops never got theirs. It tells them that they are good enough to receive the best when the system which is providing them education, every moment, tells them that they are not.

While the number of individual schools where each student has access to a device continues to grow, many students also do not have access to a dedicated computer at home for homework. Some have to share a single device with their family or have to use a smartphone to access the Internet. That’s if they have internet access: Less than half of U.S. school districts meet FCC bandwidth targets, and about two million K-12 students are still not properly connected to learn at home.

“Most of the beneficiaries have never had their own laptop. It tells them that they are good enough to receive the best when the system which is providing them education, every moment, tells them that they are not.

– Tanesha Grant, founder of the nonprofit alliance Parents Supporting Parents NYC

Millions of New York City school children have returned to class for in-person instruction, but the need to support underserved students – and their parents – will persist.

New York iSchool senior Mariah and Marquis Wigfall, 17, who previously shared a device at home, say donated laptops will allow them to continue learning independently. “This will help us for a long time throughout high school and college,” says Maria Wigfall.

Grant says she plans to continue to expand PSP’s parent base and raise awareness on behalf of families who need help advocating for their children’s education. “If organizations like mine can support the community full time, there is no limit to what we could accomplish for the next generation,” she says.

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