Tanesha Grant, an activist and mother of three in Harlem, New York, is raising money to get new laptops for children who are struggling to get the essential device while learning remotely during the pandemic. Grant’s group, Parents Supporting Parents NYC (PSPNYC), has already given away more than 100 laptops since the beginning of the school year.
“I do this work because I love my people. I love our babies. And I was one of them little Black babies that was told that I totally deserved hand-me-downs,” the community leader told CBS News. “That’s why I do it because if I don’t do it, who will?”
About 4.4 million households with students don’t have access to a computer, according to the Census Bureau. One of the students who received a laptop from Grant is eight-year-old Cataleya.
“When I didn’t have the laptop, I felt like I was the only one that didn’t have one. I felt sad. But with this new laptop, I feel so happy and I feel special,” Cataleya said.
The PSPNYC group, which has raised more than $65,000 through its GoFundMe page, plans to give laptops to at least 1,000 students.
“Central Harlem has the most students in temporary housing, shelters, English language learners, and a high rate of students with IEP’s,” the organization stated. “Central Harlem is also the most overlooked community in the city. Yet, so much culture and history come out of Harlem. It’s time to give back to this community.”
The organization is also calling on internet providers to contribute to the effort.
“Since COVID-19, our children have been disproportionately traumatized by this virus, from losing loved ones, food insecurity, and not having the tools to further their education,” PSPNYC stated. “We are hopeful that in raising the funds for the devices, internet providers will partner with us to help give back to the community with free and dependable WiFi services.”
And if there is money left over after the purchase of the laptops, the organization plans to purchase coats for children in shelters and temporary housing.