On January 31st, 2020, as the International Community School (ICS) in Decatur, Atlanta, wrapped up their ‘Kindness Week’, Vibha took the opportunity to present the school with a $39,000 check, which will go towards their digital education initiative to achieve a 1:1 chrome book-to-student ratio.
As the next generation grows up in the Digital Age, technology has transformed how education is delivered and how it is received. Access to technology (devices, software and Internet) is pivotal to the short-term academic success of the students as well as their future. Most schools have been ramping up their technology centers, either through the development of computer labs and/or providing digital devices in schools. These digital devices are made available to students beyond school hours and aid in the assignment of homework, projects and computerized tests. Communication between teachers, students and parents is also happening electronically via chatrooms, emails, and e-forums.
What has traditionally divided access and quality education is also creating a digital divide where there is no access to technology or digital educational tools in schools serving populations with certain socioeconomic backgrounds that remain underserved. ICS is one such school.
With Vibha’s razor-sharp focus on improving outcomes and quality of public education, and as part of their digital education initiative, Vibha saw the strategic need at ICS and decided to help close the ratio gap for chrome books.
In the picture: Vibha Volunteers – Mr. Rekapalli, Kannan Udayarajan, Durgesh Das, Punam Singh, Prasoona Kota, Priti Sarda, Vindali Vartak, ICS principal Julie Allen and ICS Development Director Marinella Taoushiani.
“This initiative to bridge the digital divide shows Vibha’s commitment to the community we live in. It’s in line with our mission to empower children with the tools they need to be successful.” said Durgesh Das, the Executive Director of the Vibha Atlanta Action Center.
The January 31st assembly of students and staff at ICS cheered the Vibha volunteers as they presented the check to ICS principal Julie Allen. A few students expressed how excited they are about getting their own device to work with.
Being a volunteer driven organization, as Mr. Das reflects on the experience of giving, it is amazing to feel the excitement amongst the children – that’s what keeps us motivated to do more.
“We are so grateful to Vibha for their generous donation to ICS. This immense act of kindness is greatly appreciated. Now ICS will be able to purchase enough chromebooks so that we will have a 1 to 1 ratio of students to chromebooks. This will allow our teachers more flexibility in offering assignments digitally and will allow our students to become better digital citizens. Thank you, Vibha!” , expressed Julie Allen, Principal of ICS.
Vibha has also catalyzed the collaboration between ICS and another local non profit organization called PowerMyLearning that strives to bride the digital divide to provide access and training on their digital platform to parents, students, and teachers of ICS.
“The learning possibilities that open up when every child has their own digital device to work with, are endless. It is world at their fingertips. We, at Vibha, feel proud we could, in a small way, make a big difference with this donation” said Vindali Vartak, Vibha’s Global Innovation Leader who is leading the digital education initiative for Vibha.
Vibha and its volunteers continue to work towards closing the quality gaps in public education finding and catalyzing innovative ways to improve the opportunities for better future for the next generation. The opportunity gaps created by digital divide are no different. In that same light, Vibha is also investing in digital education programs in schools that serve underserved children in India.
The International Community School (ICS) is a public charter school in DeKalb County, Georgia serving students in grades K-5. ICS was strategically designed in 2002 to bring together refugee, immigrant and local children in an academically challenging and nurturing environment. Today, the school serves more than 400 students annually representing more than 30 nationalities and speaking 25 languages.
Founded in 1991, Vibha is a social venture catalyst with focus on improving quality of public education. Vibha’s philosophy is to seed, grow and scale grassroots ideas that can solve systemic problems related to the underprivileged child through a cure that involves minimal external intervention with large scale societal impact. Till date, we have supported more than 300,000 children through 250+ implementation partners in India and the US. Vibha is a volunteer driven organization and has a volunteer network of over 2200 volunteers spread across 20 Action Centers in cities across the US and India. Please read more about our current projects at www.vibha.org.