Vibha donates to International Community School for its digital education initiative
On January 31, 2020, as the International Community School (ICS) in Decatur, Georgia, wrapped up their ‘Kindness Week,’ Vibha took the opportunity to present the school with a $39,000 check, which will go towards their digital education initiative to achieve a 1:1 chrome book-to-student ratio.
The International Community School (ICS) is a public charter school serving students in grades K-5. ICS was designed in 2002 to bring together refugee, immigrant, and local children in an academically challenging and nurturing environment. The school serves more than 400 students representing more than 30 nationalities and speaking 25 languages.
As the next generation grows up in the Digital Age, technology has transformed how education is delivered and how it is received. Access to technology (devices, software, and Internet) is pivotal to the short-term academic success of the students as well as their future. Most schools have been ramping up their technology centers, either through the development of computer labs and/or providing digital devices in schools. These digital devices are made available to students beyond school hours and aid in the assignment of homework, projects, and computerized tests. Communication between teachers, students, and parents is also happening electronically via chatrooms, emails, and e-forums.
Vibha Volunteers Mr. Rekapalli [not pictured], Kannan Udayarajan, Durgesh Das, Punam Singh, Prasoona Kota, Priti Sarda, Vindali Vartak, with ICS Principal Julie Allen and ICS Development Director Marinella Taoushiani.
What has traditionally divided access and quality education is also creating a digital divide where there is no access to technology or digital educational tools in schools serving populations with certain socioeconomic backgrounds that remain underserved. ICS is one such school.
With Vibha’s razor-sharp focus on improving outcomes and quality of public education, and as part of their digital education initiative, Vibha saw the strategic need at ICS and decided to help close the ratio gap for chrome books.
“This initiative to bridge the digital divide shows Vibha’s commitment to the community we live in. It’s in line with our mission to empower children with the tools they need to be successful,” said Durgesh Das, Executive Director of Vibha Atlanta Action Center.
The January 31st assembly of students and staff at ICS cheered the Vibha volunteers as they presented the check to ICS Principal Julie Allen. A few students expressed how excited they are about getting their own device to work with.
“Being a volunteer-driven organization,” as Mr. Das reflects on the experience of giving, “it is amazing to feel the excitement amongst the children—that’s what keeps us motivated to do more.”
Principal Allen expressed her thanks to Vibha by saying, “This immense act of kindness is greatly appreciated. Now ICS will be able to purchase enough chromebooks so that we will have a 1 to 1 ratio of students to chromebooks. This will allow our teachers more flexibility in offering assignments digitally and will allow our students to become better digital citizens. Thank you, Vibha!”
Vibha has also catalyzed the collaboration between ICS and another local nonprofit organization called PowerMyLearning that strives to bridge the digital divide to provide access and training on their digital platform to parents, students, and teachers of ICS.
“The learning possibilities that open up when every child has their own digital device to work with are endless. It puts the world at their fingertips. We at Vibha feel proud that we could, in a small way, make a big difference with this donation,” said Vindali Vartak, Vibha’s Global Innovation Leader who is leading Vibha’s digital education initiative.
Vibha and its volunteers continue to work towards closing the quality gaps in public education, finding and catalyzing innovative ways to improve the opportunities for better future for the next generation. Vibha is also investing in digital education programs in schools that serve underserved children in India.
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