Older students find home computers crucial to classroom success - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Older students find home computers crucial to classroom success

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Back to school shopping can be expensive.

For older students especially the list includes bigger expenses that surpass the cost of pencils and three ring binders.

According to a Pew Research Center Report issued this year, 23 percent of teens have their own tablet computer.

Some students say they think having a computer at home is crucial to their success.

The Gray sisters from Putnam County all share one computer at home. Megan Gray is in 11th grade. Madison Gray is in 9th grade and Morgan Gray is in 8th grade.

"Pretty much whoever has whatever due first gets to use it first," Megan Gray explained.

"Then after 30 minutes the next person can get on," Morgan Gray added. 

Their mom Sharon Bell said she made purchasing a laptop a priority because she felt as though it was vital to their success.

"I think it is absolutely necessary for them to have a computer in the house," Bell said. "They need to have at least one."

Morgan Gray said she isn't necessarily required to have a home computer. But she said completing her assignments would be much more difficult without one.

The girls also noted that many of their textbooks are available online. They said they prefer to access the materials electronically rather than carrying their books home from school.

"One time my computer went down and I had to use my text books and it was much harder," Madison Gray said.

While the Gray family has found a way to cut costs by sharing one computer, for some people the cost of the device and internet access isn't in the budget. That challenge creates some concern for students as they try to look for ways to stay competitive at school.

There is a program that can help students that can't afford a new computer. Mission WV is a religious-based group which accepts donated computers and then sells them at a lower cost to low income families. The same standards that are used to determine who can receive free or reduced lunches are used to decide who can qualify for this program.

To find out how to get a computer or donate one call the number on your screen 1-866-CALL-MWV.  You can also email David Rogers at drogers@missionwv.org or follow the link.

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