The Champaign and Urbana school districts are distributing Chromebooks to students who need the devices. Champaign schools have so far distributed about 1,000 Chromebooks to district families, according to Unit 4 spokesperson, John Lyday.
Courtney Harmon, an Urbana District 116 parent, picked up a Chromebook for her six-year-old son last week. Her son attends Yankee Ridge Elementary and is on the autism spectrum. She says he doesn’t know how to use her desktop computer, and she worried he would not be able to access online learning material as a result.
Harmon says she learned Urbana schools were distributing Chromebooks through social media. She reached out to her son’s school and was able to obtain a Chromebook after answering a series of questions posed by the school’s principal.
“I was very relieved because otherwise I had no idea how he was going to be able to do all this,” Harmon says.
She says her son understands how to use a Chromebook and having the device at home has made a positive impact on his ability to continue learning.
“Without the Chromebook, I don’t know if I’d be able to do it because I’m not that patient. And I don’t know exactly where they left off in school, so I couldn’t really pick up and teach. Even helping him with homework is a struggle,” Harmon says. “Since he’s able to read his books on (the Chromebook) he’s loving it because he loves to read when he’s actually sat down and given a book.”
The spokesperson for Unit 4, Lyday, says parents and guardians have picked up the devices from schools and district staff have also delivered Chromebooks to family homes.
He says Unit 4 families will have another opportunity to pick up Chromebooks on Thursday, April 16. Lyday says school building principals will continue to review the needs of their families.