Powering up schools in need, one surprise at a time

Over the past six weeks, Softchoice employees, along with volunteers from Lenovo and VMware, have been visiting underserved schools across North America to surprise students with new classroom technology as part of our Power Up technology grant program. Power Up focuses on breaking down the barriers created by poverty by investing in schools serving low-income communities.

In 2016, our inaugural year, Power Up put technology in the hands of more than 3,000 students. This year, we welcomed another 4,000 students from 10 deserving schools to the Power Up family.

For children living in under-resourced communities, learning to use technology through a quality education is pivotal to breaking the cycle of poverty. Classroom technology fosters a love of learning, builds self-confidence, and develops the problem solving and collaboration skills critical to thrive in the careers of tomorrow.

Beginning in early February, our local teams connected with passionate educators to unveil stacks of laptops, Chromebooks and tablets for unsuspecting students. There were countdowns, dramatic reveals, cheers, high-fives, and spontaneous dance parties. In many schools, we stayed after the festivities concluded to mentor students on the new devices.

By partnering with teachers and administrators who have a strong plan for achieving positive student learning outcomes through technology, we are hopeful that each Power Up school will see improvements in core curriculum subjects (literacy, math, science), 21st-century skills (computer literacy and coding) as well as overall student learning engagement. We also plan to build long-lasting relationships with each school through ongoing school visits and mentoring.

Power Up grants are funded through Softchoice employee donations and program partners, Lenovo and VMware. For the full list of this year’s winning schools, click here. To learn more about Power Up, visit www.softchoice.com/powerup.