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Education Matters: Bridging the Digital Divide

Little Rock School District offers low-cost computer program.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The Little Rock School District is working to close the "digital" divide by offering low-cost computers to families who may normally not be able to afford them.

The Henderson Magnet Middle School gym transformed into a type of shopping center over the weekend.

Parents could buy refurbished computers for just $50.

Dana Rivera was one of several students helping to load the computers into cars.

"I'm helping the parents out and bringing the boxes into the gym," she said.

Every four or five years, the Little Rock School District gets new computers.

Those old computers used to be sold at auction, but school officials decided to give needy families a chance to buy them first.

"We thought, we have so many kids in our district who don't have access to internet or technology in their home, so we were trying to come up with a way to help decrease our digital divide," said Millicent Sanders-Anderson, one of the event organizers.

With 30 percent of Little Rock students lacking a home computer, the program gives kids a valuable tool needed for research and reports.

"The other thing is we're using a lot of technology in our classes right now," anders-Anderson said. "So, they get to demonstrate some of the things they do in school, at home, and also it gives them the opportunity to share that with their parents."

Along with the cheap computers, LRSD families who qualify can get high speed internet for just under $10 a month through Comcast.

If you would like to follow Melissa Schroeder's reports on Facebook, you can click here and like her page.


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