Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 14, 2014

McDowell County middle school students to receive free laptop computers

WELCH — Every middle school student in McDowell County will be given a free laptop next week, starting March 17 with an event at Mount View Middle School.

The Appalachian Regional Commission, Connect2Compete and the Reconnecting McDowell partnership, 875 laptops will be distributed to students and their parents or guardians—first at Mount View, then at Sandy River Middle School in Avondale, W.Va., on March 18 and at Southside K-8 School in War on March 19, Reconnect McDowell Officials announced today.

“Laptops have become an important tool for homework. Once a student in rural McDowell logs on to the World Wide Web, the same world opens up to them as it does for everyone else,” said Gayle Manchin, chair of Reconnecting McDowell.

“We have the ability to personalize learning, build confidence, and improve student performance through the effective use of new technologies in the classroom,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said. “Through this partnership, students at Mount View, Sandy River and Southside middle schools will now have access to laptops for homework, research and other school projects.”

The $284,188 grant to McDowell County Schools comes from several sources. At Reconnecting McDowell’s request, Tomblin allocated $138,594 from the state’s share of Appalachian Regional Commission funds; Connect2Compete matched it with $127,914 in discounts; and McDowell County Schools added $17,680 in an in-kind contribution for processing and training.

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