Computers distributed at Universal Charter Schools

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Brick and mortar schools are out indefinitely, so many schools are bringing their studies online.

Universal Family of Schools is launching online learning for 4,200 students in their seven schools throughout Philadelphia, with live instruction on Zoom and Google Classroom.

Computers were being distributed Thursday for families who needed them. Internet access will also be free.

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"They said that the children are going to have sessions with the teachers on the Chromebooks, so I think that will help because I didn't go to school for teaching," Danielle Nelson, a parent of children at Universal Alcorn Charter School in Grays Ferry, said.

Fellow Alcorn parent Delaina Randolph added, "Even with them in school, I help them, but I don't know if I have all the tools that the teachers have to help them continue, but we're going to work it out."

After surveying families, administrators determined that 2,500 needed computers. They are distributing equipment they already had and made room in the budget for the rest.

"It helps because a lot of people don't have laptops and stuff at home so this helps a whole lot," explained Universal Audenried Charter School parent Clyde Foster.

Students have been working on paper pamphlets since schools shut their doors mid-March.

Audenried Principal Blanchard Diavua explained the technology allows a more interactive learning environment.

"It is so important to get that face-to-face interaction with the scholars at a time like this. It's really critical that they get some sense of being back in the classroom and being able to interact with their peers and their teachers," emphasized Diavua.
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