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TECH4KIDS: New laptops help Wendell Park pupils beat the digital divide

Young students at Wendell Park Primary in Shepherds Bush can now access online learning thanks to laptops donated via our Tech4Kids appeal.

The Tech4Kids appeal aims to bridge the digital divide, so no child misses out. “We didn’t realise how many kids didn’t have access to the internet until the pandemic,” said deputy headteacher Rosemarie Peters. “Not having that access is so limiting.”

Five children were given laptops, and all agreed that it would make homework easier and open new worlds. Four chose maths as their favourite subject and are fans of the Times Tables Rock Stars app that builds skills in multiplication.

It now means homework can be submitted directly, rather than manually. “School is better with a laptop,” said Year 3 student Hidayah. “For homework, it’s really amazing.”

Dior, in Year 4, said: “It’s pretty cool for maths games,” while Year 5’s Aissatou said: “I feel happy to have a laptop because I had to use my mum’s phone screen, which was tiny.”

Erza, in Year 5, said life had been transformed as there was now no fighting over the single laptop at home, while Fifi, in Year 4, said: “It’s meant I have my own space, and can do my own work.”

The Tech4Kids appeal aims to eventually provide 1,500 laptops to children in need across Hammersmith & Fulham.

Savraj Kaur, Executive Director of United in H&F, who is collecting the funds, urged more businesses and residents to get involved and donate. “Local companies Agylisis and Immediate Media were the first to fund this campaign, and residents have come forward too,” she said.

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At the start of the pandemic, Wendell Park primary conducted a survey to see who could get online on a laptop or desktop computer – and who couldn’t.

“We were shocked by how many children didn’t have a laptop, and were trying to do homework on a phone,” said Ms Peters.

The Tech4Kids Appeal is a campaign by H&F Council in partnership with headteachers, the charity UNITED in H&F and social enterprise Ready Tech Go. Every £159 raised means that another young person receives a new laptop.

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