Assistance League members Yolanda Perry and Marty Sippel along with Tiffany Foster (center), Meade Heights principal.
New computers give underserved students the resources they need at Meade Heights and Georgetown East elementary schools.
With its usual programs on hiatus due to the pandemic, Assistance League of the Chesapeake members wanted to continue to make contributions to the community. Vice President Philanthropic Yolanda Perry contacted two of Assistance League’s partner schools, Georgetown East Elementary School (GEES) and Meade Heights Elementary. Andre Dillard, GEES principal, told us that one of the biggest impediments to online learning is access to a computer in families with more than one school-age child. And Tiffany Foster, principal of Meade Heights Elementary told Ms. Perry that, “Working to ensure that all families have a Chromebook from the district to support e-learning is a primary concern.”
Families receive on loan from the school system one Chromebook for use throughout the school year. With all learning now online, families with more than one student at GEES and Meade are at a disadvantage because only one child at a time can be working on the computer with their teacher and participating in online learning.
Andre Dillard, Georgetown East principal, with Assistance League members Maureen Smith, Jane Garbacz and Yolanda Perry.
Assistance League of the Chesapeake President Maryann Gosnell quickly surveyed the membership asking if they would approve spending money from the budget to purchase computers and headsets for families with more than one student at GEES and Meade. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Assistance League provided the needed equipment for 30 families.
“Everything is different now, but in some ways, things are the same. The ripple effect of poverty is the same, and the quarantine has shone a spotlight on the digital divide among student households. The Assistance League of the Chesapeake is a group of committed women who continue to address critical needs and who provide assistance to schools and students in the midst of these drastic changes,” said Ms. Perry.
Assistance League has a long history with Georgetown East and Meade. Through its Project Literacy program, members regularly provide classroom assistance, tutor students and donate new books to students. Through its Kids In Need program, members provide new school uniforms to hundreds of students at each school.
Since many students are suffering from the absence of in-classroom learning, some children are definitely falling behind. The computer will give them access to the resources they need to succeed. “Purchasing computers to help with online learning fits neatly with ALC’s mission to give children in need the tools for success,” said Ms. Gosnell.
Mr. Dillard is thrilled with the support from the “fabulous Assistance League of the Chesapeake.”
Assistance League of the Chesapeake is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults through community-based philanthropic programs. Its mission is “Transforming Lives, Strengthening Community.” Assistance League of the Chesapeake is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. It is part of the national Assistance League, which has 23,000 members in 120 chapters across the country.