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Alberta Computers for Schools rises to meet COVID-19 challenge

EDMONTON, Alberta, April 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Over the past three weeks, Alberta Computers for Schools (CFS) has seen a marked increase in applications to the program with requests for free refurbished computer and laptop equipment. The technology is needed to support a variety of low-income families, non-profit organizations and schools as they re-tool for people to work and learn from home.

Alberta CFS has seen over 100 new applications come in, has already shipped out 39 orders and has provided almost 500 computers to Albertans in need. The equipment has gone largely to schools, who then pass the computers along to students who are now required to learn at home.

“The demand has been relentless and we’re trying to keep up and make sure everyone who needs support can have it. It’s been a big push to see this success” says Kari Cope, Executive Director of Alberta Computers for Schools. “I’m so proud of my team and how they have stepped up in this difficult period to ensure that Alberta families receive this much needed equipment quickly.”

Alberta CFS distributes over 10,000 computers each year through the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools Plus program, and the spike generated by COVID-19 is accelerating the need for incoming donations. The equipment is provided for free to organizations and is theirs to keep. It is refurbished and can be loaded with Microsoft Windows 10 and Office Suite. 

What I have experienced from the donated laptops you provided is difficult to put in words. I happened to be with teachers when some connections were made again. I will never forget the expressions on the students when they saw the face of their teachers and heard their voice because they had a donated laptop you provided. I can see that when students know that they are still connected to their teacher, when they hear that their teacher has not forgotten them, when they see that their teacher has not given up on them and is still working hard to help them grow, they feel safe. They feel safe knowing that they are still connected to the world that they are familiar with.

We will never be able to measure the impact that I witnessed and described above. You have made such a difference.

-Andrew Loomis, Principal, Malmo School

“This is not a loan, the equipment is not coming back to us,” adds Cope. “This means once the pandemic settles we are going to be in desperate need to replenish our inventory. We will need Alberta government and companies to continue donating their old equipment to make a difference.”

About Computers for Schools Plus
The Government of Canada administers the Computers for Schools Plus (CFS+) program in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, as well as the private and volunteer sectors. CFS+ is helping to extend the useful life of devices, reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste, and provide valuable internship opportunities to help young Canadians develop advanced digital skills for the job market. The new “Plus” in Computers for Schools Plus builds on over 25 years of success in serving communities across Canada to provide a wide range of computer equipment to an expanded audience of recipients. Originally, computers were only provided to schools. Today, the CFS+ program also provides computers and other digital devices to assist libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and eligible low-income Canadians.

Kari Cope, Executive Director
Alberta Computers for Schools