A LOCAL primary school was delighted to receive 10 laptops courtesy of Asda Strabane community champion, Matthew Tracey.
He had arranged the delivery of the laptops to St Mary’s Primary School as part of the supermarket’s initiative to provide over 7,000 laptops to schools across the UK to help tackle digital exclusion.
The supermarket recently formed a partnership with technology provider Dell to invest over £2 million so that every Asda store in the UK, including Asda Strabane, could donate at least ten laptops to a school in need in their local community.
The store nominated St Mary’s Primary School as there is a proportion of families within the school who are struggling to access technology and community champion Matthew arranged delivery of the laptops, each of which comes with a tech bundle to support ongoing home learning activities.
"I know what a massive difference the donation of laptops is going to make to the school and its pupils.
"It makes me really proud that I can be here today to support my local community and surprise them with the technology they so desperately need," Mr Tracey said.
Asda launched this initiative to support schools in its communities that are struggling with digital exclusion. According to Ofcom, around nine per cent of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home.
These children are primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds and at risk of falling further behind with their education.
Principal Sandra O'Doherty said the school was delighted to take delivery of the devices.
“We can’t thank Asda enough for helping our school and donating these laptops.
"This donation will go a long way towards helping children gain access to the technology and data packages that will help to break down some of the digital barriers that unfortunately exist," she said.
Asda and Dell Technologies provided the school with brand new laptops built with best-in-class durability that makes them ideal for young learners.
The education devices are used by schools, colleges and universities across the UK and its products are designed to support learning, whether that is in the classroom or in a virtual environment.
The tech bundle provided by the Asda Foundation is an extension of their support of schools with this important education initiative.
During the autumn 2020 term, the Asda Foundation awarded more than half a million pounds to hundreds of schools to ensure children could get back into the classroom.
This included providing grants for everything from stationery to school uniform banks, breakfast clubs and more, to ensure no child felt excluded due to financial limitations.