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New Kensington-Arnold School District Teacher Raises $20k To Buy Students Laptops

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) - When the New Kensington-Arnold School District moved the classroom online, there were not enough devices for each student.

"You can't share a device," said Stephanie Sakoian, a French teacher at Valley Junior-Senior High School.

When Mrs. Sakoian noticed being unplugged was sparking an educational disconnect for students, she decided the virtual classrooms needed a little re-wiring.

"It was time to just step up, hand out a device and say, 'we believe in you and we know you can do this and you do too,'" said Sakoian.

With permission from the district, the teacher created a GoFundMe page, raising cash donations to purchase Chrome Books for students.

new-kensington arnold school district chromebooks
(Photo provided)

She raised almost $20,000 in just two weeks. A combination of faculty, staff, former students and community members have been supporting the cause.

Mrs. Sakoian and her team of helpers have already begun purchasing the devices. Teachers from schools K-12 are working on a need-based wishlist for those who will receive one.

For Mrs. Sakoian, bridging the technology gap means much more than getting these student plugged in.

"As a teacher, you wonder what legacy you will leave heading with your students. And at Valley, we try and instill strong values, a sense of community, belonging, and this encompasses that," said Sakoian.

The new semester begins Monday.

The devices will start being rolled out early next week.

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