Bridging the Digital Divide – Learning Link Initiative
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic, most schools have closed their doors and resorted to virtual learning instead. This sudden change has left many children in Bedfordshire without access to WIFI or digital devices. As a result, they have been unable to access online resources, complete homework, and have generally been disengaged from school.
Luton and Bedfordshire Learning Link, led by Bedfordshire’s High Sheriff Susan Lousada, is an initiative set up to raise money and laptops to give disadvantaged pupils the technology they need to succeed. The Luton programme is supported by Luton Council of Mosques, Luton Council of Sunni Mosques, and the Level Trust, whilst the Bedford Link is partnered with Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough Children’s Services in partnership with FACES, and The Blues Foundation.
As part of this initiative, SDC has donated 32 laptops to the St Thomas More Catholic Teaching School. SDC’s Managing Director, Francis Shiner, visited the school with the High Sheriff to present the laptops to the Head Teacher, Martin Bonner, and the Assistant Headteacher, Paula Brazier.
From left: Assistant Headteacher of St Thomas More Catholic Teaching School Paula Brazier, SDC’s Managing Director Francis Shiner, Head Teacher of St Thomas More Catholic Teaching School Martin Bonner, Bedfordshire’s High Sheriff Susan Lousada.
After receiving the donation, Martin Bonner of St Thomas More Catholic Teaching School said, ‘As we face the challenges of this pandemic one of the potential effects could be significant damage to children’s education and subsequently, to their life chances. At St Thomas More we are doing all we can to mitigate against this through our remote learning provision. Much of this remote learning does, however, rely heavily on children being able to access their learning on-line and having the use of a reliable device. Your generosity, in partnership with the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Susan Lousada, in providing 32 laptops to be distributed to youngsters who have no means at present to access home learning will make a huge difference to these children. Your kindness will enable them to keep progressing despite the challenges presented by this once in a lifetime set of circumstances. In making this gift, SDC Builders have shown a wonderful commitment to helping young people and are living out values of kindness, generosity and philanthropy that are the hallmark of truly caring and inspiring people.’
If you have any old or unused devices and wish to help, please follow the below links to find out how.