NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) – When the New Kensington-Arnold School District moved the classroom online, there were not enough devices for each student.
“You can’t share a device,” said Stephanie Sakoian, a French teacher at Valley Junior-Senior High School.READ MORE: Former Mylan Executive Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading, Preparing False Tax Return
When Mrs. Sakoian noticed being unplugged was sparking an educational disconnect for students, she decided the virtual classrooms needed a little re-wiring.
“It was time to just step up, hand out a device and say, ‘we believe in you and we know you can do this and you do too,’” said Sakoian.
With permission from the district, the teacher created a GoFundMe page, raising cash donations to purchase Chrome Books for students.
She raised almost $20,000 in just two weeks. A combination of faculty, staff, former students and community members have been supporting the cause.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster Visits Western Pennsylvania School For The Deaf, Learns Sign Language
Mrs. Sakoian and her team of helpers have already begun purchasing the devices. Teachers from schools K-12 are working on a need-based wishlist for those who will receive one.
For Mrs. Sakoian, bridging the technology gap means much more than getting these student plugged in.
“As a teacher, you wonder what legacy you will leave heading with your students. And at Valley, we try and instill strong values, a sense of community, belonging, and this encompasses that,” said Sakoian.
The new semester begins Monday.MORE NEWS: CDC: Salmonella Outbreak Sickens Over 100 People, Including 2 Pennsylvanians
The devices will start being rolled out early next week.