Comcast donates laptops to Boys & Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg

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Comcast donates laptops to Boys & Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg

 

By Danielle Ray

 

LEOMINSTER — Comcast donated 75 new Dell laptops to the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster on Monday as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to build awareness of its Internet Essentials program.

“This is great, we will be able to make sure everyone has a level playing field when it comes to technology,” said club Executive Director Donata Martin.

Over a dozen children and their caretakers gathered at the club to take a laptop home with them, including Sofia Namatovu and her two daughters from Leominster.

“This is so exciting,” said 10-year-old Anaiah Kasenge. “We don’t have our own computer, just one that belongs to the school.”

Her 12-year-old sister Arianah Kasenge said she is looking forward to “editing things and playing with my friends” on her computer.

 

Amani Webbe, 9 on right, of Fitchburg looks over his new Dell Inspiron laptop at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster on Monday afternoon. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE

 

“I am so happy, this doesn’t happen every day,” she said.

The girls will also use the laptops for Arabic lessons via Skype. Up until now they had been using their mother’s phone for their lessons.

“We feel so lucky,” Namatovu said.

Before the pandemic, 275 children ages eight to 18 attended the club daily, which has state of the art Wi-Fi for internet connection. These days, however, the building is fairly quiet.

 

“The youth with less or no access to technology (at home) can attend remote instruction, complete research for projects, and attend programing that we recommend and attend with them,” Martin said.

Programming includes virtual field trips for STEAM programs, workforce development, guest speakers, and communicating with Boys & Girls club staff and more.

Internet Essentials offers eligible households low-cost, broadband Internet service for $9.95 per month, with the option to purchase a heavily subsidized computer, and multiple options for digital literacy training. It is open to individuals who receive a federal benefit such as Medicare or SSI or reside in HUD-assisted housing or have a child in the National School Lunch Program, among other eligible benefits.

 


Jadiel Sanchez, 10, of Leominster with his new Dell Inspiron laptop at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster on Monday afternoon. One hundred laptops were donated by Comcast, 75 went to the club in Leominster and 25 went to the club in Gardner. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE

 

“The Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster is a longtime, trusted community partner,” said Rebecca Fracassa, Director of Community Impact across Comcast’s Greater Boston region. “We have been honored to support the work that Donata Martin and her team have done over the years to provide a club experience with significant STEM programming that prepares members for 21st century jobs. We also understand how hard this club is working with the communities it serves in this time of crisis to support safe remote learning.”

In nearly 10 years, Internet Essentials has become the nation’s largest and most successful low-income internet adoption program and has connected millions of people to the internet.

“We’ve seen firsthand that low-cost internet access, coupled with equipment access and support, is an important part of improving digital equity and creating positive opportunities for low-income students and families,” Fracassa said. “In the pandemic environment we know that access to broadband and equipment is simply essential for remote learning and we are doing our best to support our community partners, like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fitchburg and Leominster, that are working to provide educational continuity for their community’s young people.”

Comcast donated an additional 25 laptops to the Gardner campus of the Boys & Girls Club.


Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster Executive Director Donata Martin, on right, stands with employees of Comcast that dropped off new Dell Inspiron laptop at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster on Monday afternoon. From left is Marsey Pendexter, Rebecca Fracassa, Greg Franks and Catherine Maloney. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE

 

 

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