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Community Donates Laptops so CNM Students Can Continue Classes Online

As soon as the call was put out, computers came rushing in
Community Donates Laptops so CNM Students Can Continue Classes Online

Mar 20, 2020

When CNM instructor Grace Sussman realized her integrated reading and writing classes were moving online earlier this week, she quickly contacted her students to see who needed a laptop. Ten had their own, she found out, but eight others needed one.

To track down donations, she posted to Nextdoor, an app that helps neighbors communicate. That was Tuesday, and within hours, she had 15 people respond. One woman had her come get two laptops that evening—including a high-end Apple MacBook. By Wednesday morning she had all eight laptops.

“The response was amazing,” Grace says.

Before she could hand them out, however, Grace realized that some of the laptops needed to be updated with current software. So, her friend Bill Calhoun, who owns BC's PC Service stepped in and made sure everything was in working order.

Once he was done, Grace started handing them out at her house. By Thursday, every student who needed a laptop had one and class resumed.

Right now, Grace says she’s been conducting her classes via email. But she’s trying to move everything to Zoom. She’s used to giving the students a lot of feedback in class, and email isn’t the best forum. Video, she’s hoping, makes things a little easier. Whatever happens, she just wants to ensure class moves on.

“I’ve been a teacher for almost 30 years, and one of the main characteristics of being a teacher is flexibility,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what the issue is, flexibility is the answer. And the same goes for the students. They’re eager to learn and they’re doing what they have to in order to continue their education.”

Photo of donated laptops at Grace's house.
Some of the donated laptops at Grace's house.