Some newcomer students in the Surrey school district will have another option for homework in the new year.
Twenty-five families received donated computers, keyboards and mice on Dec. 19 through the Surrey School’s Welcome Centre. The 25 computers were donated by Black Press News Media and the keyboards and mice were donated by Simply Computing in Langley.
The district’s Welcome Centre helps students and families, who are learning English, integrate into the Surrey School District and the community.
The Welcome Centre provides support for families through assessments, multicultural workers and settlement workers in schools.
The Bal family, who moved from Germany, said having a computer in the home will help their 15-year-old son.
Jagwinder Bal said her son Gursewak has a learning disability, and he is unable to write. She said her son is able to learn with a phone or YouTube or a computer, but without the donation and the Welcome Centre’s help, the family wouldn’t have been able to afford a computer for Gursewak who is starting school in January.
While Gursewak speaks Dutch and Punjabi, Jagwinder said he will be learning English now and the computer will help with that. Jagwinder also said her son Takdeer, who is in Grade 4, will be able to use the computer as he progresses in school.
For Issa Abdullah Alrazmak’s family of seven, who moved from Syria, their computer will be used to learn English, for the kids to do their homework and for Alrazmak to look for a job.
For others, the new computer will also be a way to communicate with family far away.
Luz Landazuri, who moved from Colombia, said that the along with using the computer for her children (aged 11 and 16), the computer will also be for Landazuri to learn English and stay in touch with family in Colombia.
Thanh Vu, who moved from Vietnam, said she couldn’t wait to pick up the computer. She said her son, 9, has autism and a computer would needed for the family, but she didn’t have the money to buy one.
For Levi Gershom Ssuna, it was important to get the computer because of his son.
“It will help my son, first of all, in his education,” said Ssuna, adding that his son, 11, will be able to do school assignments from home.
Stefan Oetter, Simply Computing store manager, said the store was “happy” to be able to donate the tech to the district for families in need.
Black Press said they wanted to give back this holiday season “to those who truly need the software to be successful in today’s rapidly advancing technological world.”