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60,000 NYC Kids Can’t Attend Remote Classes. You Can Help.

Including You's Daisy Hampton donates a laptop to nine year old Kimani Anderson.  (Image credit: Including You)

With schools in lockdown and students learning remotely, the digital divide between has never been wider. Without access to a working device and Internet, many children will not be able to attend class. Here in New York, where all NYC public schools are currently closed and many students were remote or in-person only part-time before that, it's estimated that as many as 60,000 kids don't have the tools they need.  

That's where Including You, comes in and needs your help. Founded by eleven year old New Yorker Daisy Hampton, Including You distributes PCs and, as needed, 4G hotspots to kids who need them for remote learning.

Tom's Hardware is partnering with Including You to help source gently used PCs (desktops or laptops). We've reached out to our industry contacts seeking devices, we're scrounging around our closets and we're asking you, our readers, to do the same. If you have any computers you can donate, please visit Including Your's donations page and fill out the online form. The organization is also taking cash donations to be spent on buying new devices or mobile Internet.

Including You is looking for any device that can get online to use Google Classroom. Chromebooks, laptops and even desktops are all helpful as are the peripherals one would need to use a desktop (monitors, keyboards and mice). 

About Including You 

Hampton started the charity last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic first set in. Her initial goal was to connect kids with special needs or other challenges to other children online who could serve as mentors, but soon she realized that many children didn't have a way to get online.

"I started Including You during the height of the pandemic in New York City. When we switched to remote learning, several of my friends never showed up to online class," Hampton said. "The teachers would ask if anyone had heard from them. I knew that they had no phones like most of us kids, and probably no internet."

Many of the kids Hampton helped at first were in Mississippi where she has connected with a local charity. However, a few weeks ago, Hampton saw an article about Kimani Anderson, a 9 year old Bronix girl whose mother was on the verge of being reported to child services for truancy because her school-issued iPad was broken.

Including You

Daisy Hampton donates a laptop to a school for use by a remote student.  (Image credit: Including You)

"I asked my mom if we could give her a laptop. I had already set aside money I won from the Girl Scouts for Including You, so we used that and my parents made up the rest," Hampton said. 

Since then, Hampton and her mother Jennifer have received hundreds of requests from students mostly in New York. So far, they have been able to provide devices to 75 kids, with more added every day

Though the NYC Department of Education (DOE) is supposed to provide each student with a device, many students have received broken tablets and others have gotten nothing at all.

"I think it a combination of red tape, inability to source, and communication problems," Jennifer Hampton said of the lack of working, school-issued devices. "Many of the kids have broken DOE-issued tablets and, anecdotally, it seems that their schools have to jump through hoops to get a replacement. We also heard the chancellor say . . .  that, like many school districts around the country, they are dealing with a shortage of supplies, so that is an issue, too. Additionally, teachers have told me that some parents may not speak English and thus have difficulty communicating the need, or are unfamiliar with how to navigate the school system and make such requests."

Every computer Including You collects makes it possible for another child who would be unable to learn to attend school. So that old laptop that's gathering dust on your shelf or that spare desktop that's sitting in your closet could make the difference between going to school or sitting home and falling behind.  You can sign up to donate equipment or money on Including You's donations page.

"We’ve received thank you notes from other kids and parents, or texts," Daisy Hampton said. "They are no longer being left out. It’s like these kids were knocking on their classroom door, and no one would let them in. And by giving them a computer, we opened it and said, 'Welcome!' That’s what Including You is all about."

  • gg83
    This is awesome. I have a small laptop that would be perfect! And I live near NYC
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    there's a micheal b. jordan meme that would be perfect for this.
    Reply
  • CerianK
    I'm not near NYC, but this seems like a good task for the Zuck since:
    He had no trouble providing $350 million to assist voting in cities prior to the US election.
    Research shows addiction to social media to be the norm for kids today (to their detriment... I have two in that boat), so would be good for PR.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    However, a few weeks ago, Hampton saw an article about Kimani Anderson, a 9 year old Bronix girl whose mother was on the verge of being reported to child services for truancy because her school-issued iPad was broken.
    Well there's the problem. Why is the school system issuing iPads and not something like Amazon Fire tablets, or Chromebooks, or other budget devices? According to this article from April, the NYC Department of Education had already spent over $269 million on just 300,000 iPads for remote learning, and they have likely sunk more money into them since...

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/25/nyc-spends-269-million-on-ipads-for-students-amid-coronavirus-lockdown/
    The iPads with cases cost them $480 each, plus what sounds like internet connectivity and software bringing the total up around $900 per device. And of course, they were seeking reimbursement from the federal government for their poor spending practices. There are tablets for under $100 that would be suitable enough for remote learning, or for around $200, they could have got something like Chromebooks, which would be even better for learning on than a strictly touchscreen device. And if something happens to them, they would be inexpensive to replace, so they could have a big stockpile of the devices in reserve.
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    Lots of highschools get the bare minimum chrome books and acer notebooks, terrible, terrible machines in my highschool experience. Kids always watched movies during class, gamed, etc etc.

    I hated using the laptops.

    Then bring it to tech school, where I was issued a pretty decent gaming laptop, my online general education courses were all online----
    Actually cheated through all of them except for the ones I couldn't (communications and some other writing course)
    Kids today know these things exist and I don't believe online learning is learning at all. When you are being forced to teach yourself, why have a teacher.
    Now if you're actually interested in the subject and teach yourself online, that works, but if you have the drive you can use the internet to learn about anything you want.
    Not to mention the technically illiterate teachers thrown into the mess.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    thepersonwithaface45 said:
    Lots of highschools get the bare minimum chrome books and acer notebooks, terrible, terrible machines in my highschool experience. Kids always watched movies during class, gamed, etc etc.

    I hated using the laptops.

    Then bring it to tech school, where I was issued a pretty decent gaming laptop, my online general education courses were all online----
    Actually cheated through all of them except for the ones I couldn't (communications and some other writing course)
    Kids today know these things exist and I don't believe online learning is learning at all. When you are being forced to teach yourself, why have a teacher.
    Now if you're actually interested in the subject and teach yourself online, that works, but if you have the drive you can use the internet to learn about anything you want.
    Not to mention the technically illiterate teachers thrown into the mess.
    The problem today is - What do you do when you actually can't go to the classroom?
    Online something would seem to be the only short term alternative.
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    USAFRet said:
    The problem today is - What do you do when you actually can't go to the classroom?
    Online something would seem to be the only short term alternative.
    Well, this brings us to the whole "re-open the schools" issue..
    That's a slippery slope so I'll leave it there, do not want to offend anyone <3
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    Reduce teacher pay proportional to the amount of education being accomplished and I bet the schools open right quick.

    They'll discover "the science"' that kids are hardly effected by the COcold and rarely spread it.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-19/covid-s-spread-in-schools-is-questioned-in-latest-nordic-study
    My kids have been in and out of school as the public health authorities force them home every time a two kids get a sniffle simultaneously. The on-line education is inefficient and basically only as good as the teacher (parents) organizing it at home. Very few middle school kids ( or high school kids or even college level young adults ) are going to be able to organize their study or do the work independently. That is why we have built these huge institutions and funded them lavishly.

    The time at home has been very educational as they read more and help around the house. My son and I built a greenhouse and learned that farming is harder than it looks! We also built a computer (not a gaming computer as far as his mom knows) for at home learning. Pretty sure he has learned more from the greenhouse (the greenhouse does not run Minecraft very well).
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Co BIY said:
    Reduce teacher pay proportional to the amount of education being accomplished and I bet the schools open right quick.

    They'll discover "the science"' that kids are hardly effected by the COcold and rarely spread it.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-19/covid-s-spread-in-schools-is-questioned-in-latest-nordic-study
    Direct quote from your article:
    "In Israel, bringing students back to the classroom accelerated the spread of Covid-19 among middle and high-school students. "
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    USAFRet said:
    Direct quote from your article:
    "In Israel, bringing students back to the classroom accelerated the spread of Covid-19 among middle and high-school students. "
    I don't want to offend, again, but the survival rates..
    Reply