Groups get computers to rural schools in need - AZEdNews
Sections    Tuesday March 28th, 2023

Groups get computers to rural schools in need

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  • Tracey Beal   |   School Connect

School Connect, Arizona Rural Schools Association And The Arizona Dept. Of Education Get Computers To Rural Schools Who Need Them. Photo Courtesy School Connect

In July, School Connect learned that Tolleson Union High School District had 365 extra computers that they did not need, so we reached out to Wes Brownfield, the Executive Director of the Arizona Rural Schools Association, to find out if he knew rural districts who could use brand new quality computers.

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AZ Dept. of Education arranged for the computers to be stored in a location accessible to rural school districts. School Connect photo

School Connect is a nonprofit organization that helps children reach their full potential by building relationships between the community and schools.

The Arizona Rural Schools Association is dedicated to promoting quality education for all students in rural Arizona schools.

Through School Connect‘s engagement with the Arizona Broadband Stakeholder Network Task Force, we understood that rural districts had technology needs, but it was through partnership with Wes that the word got out to these districts effectively!

The Arizona Broadband Stakeholder Network Task Force facilitates collaboration, coordination, information sharing and communication among key public, private and nonprofit stakeholders committed to promoting the expansion of broadband deployment in Arizona.

Then School Connect ran into our second problem! The 365 computers had to have a delivery location that would be accessible to rural districts.

Milan Eaton, who runs the E-rate and broadband program for the Arizona Department of Education, heard about the problem during one of our technology meetings and arranged for these computers to have the perfect location to be stored!

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Some of the computers Tolleson Union High School donated to rural schools. Photo courtesy of School Connect.

The Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program helps schools and libraries connect to broadband Internet and voice services at discounted rates. E-Rate is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which which is the not-for-profit administrator of the Universal Service Fund with guidance from the FCC.

“By the end of August, all 365 computers found a home in rural districts and School Connect was thrilled to get to work with the Department of Ed and the Arizona Rural Schools Association to make it happen,” said Tracey Beal, founder & CEO of School Connect.