SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Devices for Students (DFS), a nonprofit dedicated to providing students with access to digital learning opportunities, has enabled over 550 students in over 30 schools with access to remote learning. Unprecedented school closures due to COVID-19 have created significant obstacles for many K-12 students to continue their education at home; DFS' mission is to bridge this digital divide by providing urgently needed laptops and reliable WiFi to these students.
With COVID-19 causing schools to shut their doors, school districts and educators are working diligently to transition to remote learning. But 1 in 7 public school children do not have an internet connection at home. Unless they receive devices and reliable internet, these students are unable to access online learning resources and are at risk of falling behind.
In addition to academics, DFS is addressing the emotional isolation caused by school closures; children depend on trusted teachers and peers for emotional support to feel safe and secure, and for some, the support they rely on for navigating a difficult home life. COVID-19 shed light on the urgency of providing students with long-term access to digital learning - an obstacle educators have been discussing for years.
"We have seen extraordinary energy and excitement from partners in such a short time," says Jay Pettigrew, Salesforce VP and DFS Co-Founder. "We've joined forces with manufacturers to secure discounted hardware, school districts to understand the need, and tech companies for donations of laptops. We believe that equipping students with digital learning and developing technical literacy is paramount to building their future."
The founding team of DFS includes Chris Knight (Google), Jay Pettigrew (Salesforce), Katrina Georgiou (Box), and Brigitte Clark (CUSD Teacher) with experience including education, technology partnerships, and operations. DFS's main partners in these efforts are Spark in the Bay, a nonprofit focused on creating mentorship programs to assist student development, and D/CAL, a strategic creative agency with offices in Detroit and San Diego, and Accounting Seed, an ERP solution to streamline and track the flow of donations and devices. The DFS team has partnered with nonprofits, school districts, and corporate partners to ensure that all students have equal access to online learning.
SOURCE Devices for Students