Upcycle HotSpots Upgraded for COVID-19
In addition to giving out laptops, Laptop Upcycle provides free WiFi hotspots which are in part supported by the US Sprint ConnectedEd program (thanks President Obama!). We have given out over 185 of them and we have more in stock (need one?). For those of our community supported by this service, see the below update/upgrade from US Sprint on your service.
Dear ConnectED Recipient,
With the impact of COVID-19 continuing to unfold across the U.S., many of our partner school districts, schools, libraries and non-profits are closing their doors and preparing contingency plans that include remote learning options. As institutions consider moving to an online teaching and learning environment for the remainder of the school year to help mitigate the spread of the virus, students who lack home internet access are at an even greater risk of falling behind. While COVID-19 puts an important (yet unfortunate) spotlight on the Homework Gap issue, Sprint is committed to supporting our partner districts, schools, libraries and non-profits, so we’re taking additional steps to ensure broadband access.
Ø Sprint is increasing our data allotment from 3GB’s to 20GB’s per month/user through June 30, 2020.
We hope this additional action will help support contingency plans.
Together, we can help ensure students have the necessary connectivity needed to continue their learning during these uncertain times.
Lab Hours Suspended
Laptop Upcycle has suspended our lab hours in light of the progression of the COVID-19 virus and our shared need to limit social contact. This policy applies to laptop deliveries and open lab volunteer hours. We will re-evaluate our policy as events dictate. Please note the following:
The Laptop Upcycle Team
Free WiFi Hot Spots Available
Since our creation over three years ago, Laptop Upcycle has enjoyed working with administrators and teachers in our public schools to deliver laptops and free WiFi to students who need the support and to help eliminate the technology gap for them. As we face uncertainty related to the COVID-19 virus and the possibility of remote (from home) schooling, Laptop Upcycle would like to remind the community that we have both laptops and free WiFi Access Points available to those in need. Our general policy is to give students laptops or families free WiFi if they qualify for free or reduced lunch in our schools or if a counselor or principal verifies the need.
We have been in communication with our contacts in each of the Middle schools and Montclair High School to inform them that we are prepared to distribute laptops and/or free WiFi to students who qualify. Please contact your school counselor if you have the need or you may submit an online request on the Get Technology link on our page here.
About Free WiFi
The ability for Laptop Upcycle to provide free WiFi Hot Spots to families in need stems from generous grants from the Leslie Larson and Don Katz Foundation based here in Montclair. Leslie and Don have long been supporters of our efforts and innovation in education both locally and in Newark, NJ. Ms. Larson served on the Montclair Board of Education as a Board member for 6 years and Mr. Katz is on the Board of Uncommon Schools in Newark which consistently rank among the highest performing public charter schools. Additionally, Don and his company, Audible, have made many impact producing investments and championed many programs in the Newark Public Schools. The US Sprint ConnectedEd program also generously supports this Laptop Upcycle program.
We at Laptop Upcycle are passionate about supporting our local students. In addition to handing out over 530 laptops to students who need them and over 130 free WiFi access points to families, we host weekly volunteer sessions in our lab where students learn real world technical skills and give back to the community as they prepare laptops for others.
Now we're looking to expand the breadth of our services by providing free laptops and work stations to local nonprofits who support our young adults locally in any way.
Here's how it works:
If your nonprofit organization supports students in any way, Laptop Upcycle will provide you with top of the line refurbished laptops or work stations to help you deliver and improve your service offerings. We will assist your organization in multiple ways, for example:
Thanks from the Laptop Upcycle team!