Who cares about Eutaw, Alabama? I do, and you should. It’s a little town that’s part of Greene County in the western part of Alabama.
A month ago, I got a call from kind-hearted Anita Lewis, the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Greene County in Eutaw, Alabama. She told me she was working on getting 1,000 kids Chromebooks, the first real technology initiative in their little town, in the further remote hinter-region of Alabama.
Since I grew up in a town with a population of less than 100 in Solway, Minnesota, I knew what this meant. A window to the world for 1,000 kids. I remembered Barb Meidinger, the Principal of the North Dakota Center for Distance Education, telling me back in March that their students out in remote areas are exposed to jobs of all kinds because of their digital access and eDynamic’s courses. It struck me that these 1,000 kids down in Eutaw are going to be left behind unless Anita is successful. They will not be exposed to some of the life-changing, and I mean economically type of things the wealthier districts and schools see.
It’s not even her job. Anita works in the Housing Authority, and has taken the task on because 1) she doesn’t have children of her own so she is virtually adopting all the kids in the area in her heart and praying earnestly to get this for them, and 2) she believes in equity.
She tells me on the phone, “I am calling you from the parking lot, crying, I’m so sorry, but oh, so many of these kids are so smart! I am praying for this, I have tried everything. There are budget constraints in the school until the new year, and we just need a little more to get there, so that we can get qualified for a big grant.” I offered various ways to getting there, including getting on a GoFundMe.
They only need $19,000 to get there. What this means for Eutaw kids is that they will join the now normal and routine reality in every other part of America of a device in the hands of the students to learn as part of the everyday curriculum. T-Mobile is going to step up and make this a reality, with internet access enabled for the devices – yes, out there in very rural Eutaw.
If you’re a big city school, you could adopt Eutaw as your rural little sister. If you help them, I’m sure they will help back sharing what they can as digital pen-pals.
If you’re reading this, help if you can.