LOCAL COLLEGE SAYS NO TO A LACK OF TECHNOLOGY HALTING EDUCATION
PTC donates laptops to city youth with special needs to keep up with virtual learning during pandemic
PITTSBURGH—May 6, 2020 – The staff of Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC) is responding to a need in the community for something they know a lot about, computers and technology. Not all of our region’s youth have the technology at home required to participate in virtual learning while schools are closed during the COVID‐19 pandemic. To the folks at PTC, assisting through a donation of laptops to ten children with special needs at Pittsburgh Miller PreK‐5 was an easy decision.
“It is a pleasure to know that we can make such a big impact on the education of these students,” said William Showers, Chief Information Officer with PTC. “I cannot imagine how difficult it is to teach elementary students in this sudden shift of environment. So, when I received Ms. Williams’ request, I knew this is something we wanted to make happen, and quickly.”
Dana R. Williams is a learning support teacher with Pittsburgh Miller African Centered Academy. “I’m sure all teachers are missing their students right now, especially in elementary. When you’re with the same kids all day, you really form a bond that has left a hole in my heart since the kids were all abruptly, though necessarily, sent home,” she shared. “And then, not being able to interact with and continue to teach my students who don’t have access to computers at home – I knew I had to do something to help them continue to progress. I was hoping PTC may be able to help out my class a little bit, but I was bursting at the seams with happiness when Mr. Showers replied to my email in only an hour to offer brand new laptops to all ten of my students.”
PTC’s president, Dr. Alicia B. Harvey‐Smith, was also moved when she learned of the request and donation. “I have been a passionate leader in education for more than 25 years and strongly believe that no child should be prevented from learning,” she stated. “One of PTC’s goals is to increase access to education, so there was simply no question that we would help these precious children continue to learn by removing obstacles and providing the technology they required.”
Showers, along with PTC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Brenda Psotka, offered to ship the laptops to the students’ individual homes at PTC’s expense, but Ms. Williams has a grander plan in mind. “We are having a Car Parade through The Hill District to show our kids we miss them in the best way we can right now. I would love to be able to hand the laptops out at the end of the parade,” said Williams.
The parade is scheduled for Friday, May 8, beginning at 1pm from Pittsburgh Miller at 2055 Bedford Avenue. After which Ms. Williams hopes to personally deliver a new laptop to the homes of each of her ten students. “It will be hard to respect social distancing when I miss them so much and just want to give them a big hug, “added Williams. “But I know they will be so excited to have the tools they need to keep on learning. It’s going to be so great just to see their faces and to tell them that the folks at PTC care enough to give them such amazing gifts.”
With more than 30 associate, bachelor’s, and certificate programs, Pittsburgh Technical College provides education that prepares students for career success. PTC has been part of the region’s education community for over 70 years. For more information about PTC, visit ptcollege.edu.
Pittsburgh Miller PreK‐5 is an African‐Centered Academy located in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, teaching and promoting the history and culture of people of African descent and the principles of Nguzo Saba. It’s student‐centered approach to education is designed to provide every child with a gratifying yet rigorous school experience, creating a learning environment that empowers students through a sense of cultural location and self‐worth.