Walden University helps eliminate the digital divide in Baltimore

Walden University continued its mission for positive social change, recently donating 650 tablets, 300 learning kits and 80 backpacks filled with food and hygiene products to help students from Baltimore City Public Schools as they continue learning from a distance.

PreK-8th grade students in need at Beechfield Elementary Middle School and Gwynns Falls Elementary School received either an Amazon Fire 7, Acer Iconia One 7 or Acer Iconia One 8 tablet. In addition, 80 backpacks filled with food and hygiene products were provided for students who rely on free or subsidized school meal programs were distributed to these schools.

PreK-2nd grade students at another six Baltimore schools were also provided learning kits. The kits contained activity guides and books, as well as basic classroom supplies such as scissors, pencils, crayons, markers, dry erase boards, notebooks and construction paper. Learning manipulatives such as Play-Doh and Unifix Cubes were also included.

The donations are part of Walden’s Mobilize for Good initiative, where ‘Acts for Good’ take place across the US to benefit schools and their students.

“As teachers across the country adapt to online learning, many students lack the technological resources they need to learn,” said Dr. Ward Ulmer, President of Walden University. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the severity of educational inequality, while shining a light on how passionate and determined teachers are to provide the best possible learning experience for their students.”

Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, said the donations were another step toward eliminating the digital divide. “One of our biggest challenges while planning and implementing distance learning was the significant number of our families and students who did not have access to home computers or broadband internet connections. Walden University’s generous donation will allow hundreds of City Public Schools children to stay connected and learning,” Dr Santelises said.

The Mobilize for Good initiative launched in February 2020 in Tampa, Florida with three Walden University alumni. Lennard High School received five automated external defibrillators and CPR training. A community event was hosted at Howard Blake High School where $7,500 was donated to the Urban Teaching Academy, which helps create a pathway for black students to become teachers. Reddick Elementary School received a new outdoor interactive learning and play space, where students can garden and bring fresh fruits and vegetables home.

Walden’s next Acts for Good will take place in Washington DC and Houston.