BALTIMORE — Every middle school student at Living Classrooms Foundation’s Crossroads School is receiving a Google Chromebook thanks to contributions from Constellation, Medifast, and Centric Business Systems. The local Baltimore businesses combined to provide enough funding for the Harbor East charter school to purchase laptops for each of its 163 6th through 8th grade students.
The contribution will help the school ensure that every student has full and equitable access to the online learning resources that are available through Crossroads' digital learning library. Otherwise, some students would continue to fill out paper packets while those with computers at home would be able to participate in live video classes with their teachers.
In addition to the 163 middle school students, 48 2nd through 5th grade students enrolled in Living Classrooms’ BUGS (Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students) after school program also received a Chromebook so they could continue working through their reading, math, gardening, STEM, and creative arts curriculum with their educators.
“In a time when it is critical that we pivot our educational model to ensure students remain engaged in learning while schools are closed, we are very grateful for the generous donations that helped facilitate the purchase of this much needed technology so that all of our students have equitable access to important educational resources created by our wonderful faculty,” said James Piper Bond, President and CEO, Living Classrooms Foundation.
The joint donation was an effort coordinated between three members of Living Classrooms’ Board of Trustees: Jorge Acevedo, SVP, Generation Innovation & Strategy, Constellation; Daniel Chard, CEO, Medifast; and Rick Bastinelli, CEO, Centric Business Systems.
Typically, students would be expected to return take-home computers at the end of the school year so they can be cleaned up and updated during the summer break. However, this year, students will be able to keep their Chromebooks through the summer during which time faculty will be providing digital content for summer learning with the goal of preventing learning loss.
“In this environment, we’re all adapting the way in which we work, and that challenge extends to our educators and their efforts to keep students on track and engaged,” said Jim McHugh, Constellation CEO. “We could not be more pleased to play a part in helping the amazing faculty and students at Crossroads facilitate an effective virtual classroom and experience as little disruption as possible in their learning.”
Next-door neighbors since 2016, Constellation and Crossroads have a longstanding relationship that includes a robust mentoring program in which, every year, more than 70 Constellation employees serve as mentors for Crossroads students. This unique Crossroads experience provides an avenue for students to learn about potential career paths and build relationships that will help them be successful in school and career.