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Spectrum Donates Laptops, Funding

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Spectrum Donates Laptops, Funding
Posted on 10/02/2020
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Spectrum has donated 25 new laptop computers to Portland Adult Education (PAE) and $2,500 to the Foundation for Portland Public Schools (FPPS) to kick off the academic year while addressing coronavirus related needs of the school district. Spectrum, a key Internet service provider in the state, has been working with the Maine Department of Education and others over the past several months to create solutions allowing students across Maine to access remote learning opportunities.

"I'd like to thank Spectrum for their donation to our Portland Adult Education program and to the Foundation for Portland Public Schools," said Mayor Kate Snyder. "Access to computers and technology for remote learning and job opportunities is more important than ever as we manage living through this pandemic and prevent further spread of COVID-19."

“We are using the laptops donated by Spectrum to provide opportunities for our Job Skills students,” said Anita St. Onge, Executive Director at PAE. “These are students who are working to improve their skills to get a job or advance their careers.”

The laptops donated by Spectrum will allow the recipients full access to their online classes and teachers.

One recipient of a new laptop is PAE student Violette Zola, who immigrated to the United States from the Democratic Republic of Congo. With new immigration laws in effect, Violette is not eligible to apply for a work permit until next year.  In the interim, she has been applying herself as fully as possible to her studies, taking courses to improve her English and learn technology and job skills.

“I would like to thank Spectrum so much for this donation,” Zola said. “COVID-19 has put us in a situation where we cannot come together to avoid contamination. The computer has helped me to follow my lessons at home without worry, especially the Microsoft office class. I am very happy to receive this computer which is new and easy to use. I want to become a CNA or a phlebotomist or a medical assistant when I get my work permit. I prefer to work in my field as I worked a long time with people with HIV for different International NGOs in my country.”

“Spectrum is proud to lend its support to Portland Adult Education and the Foundation for Portland Public Schools organizations with the donation of $2,500 and twenty-five new laptops,” said Camille Joseph, GVP, State Government Affairs for Charter Communications. “We continue to support broadband education, training and technology with funding to nonprofit organizations that are interested in providing the necessary tools and training to helping students and communities excel in the digital age.”

“Access to technology has never been more important,” said Andrea Weisman Summers, Executive Director of the Foundation for Portland Public Schools. “As long as schools are remote, students need devices and Internet access. We are very grateful to Spectrum for this generous gift, which is allowing students to continue to study English and job skills and stay connected to their community.”

A formal event for PAE and FPPS to accept the donations took place on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Portland Adult Education.

Photos: (Above) PAE student Violette Zola is shown receiving laptop from Rod Mahua, PAE Student Tech coordinator.
(Below) (From left) Violette Zola (PAE student), Melinda Kinney (Regional Senior Director of Charter Communications) and Portland Mayor Kate Snyder at the donation event on Oct. 6.
Violette Zola, Melinda Kinney and Kate Synder