Starry Inc., a wireless broadband internet provider, Thursday announced it has donated 21 Chromebooks to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles for families with school-aged children living in the Mar Vista Gardens community.

The computers are being provided in advance of the start of the school year to families identified by HACLA as not having access to devices needed for online learning in the home.

“The COVID-19 health crisis continues to exacerbate the impact of the digital divide on our most vulnerable communities,” said Virginia Lam Abrams, Starry’s senior vice president of government affairs and strategic advancement. “Virtually every school district across the country will start this school year by integrating online learning into their curriculums. For families without broadband access or computers in the home, this shift will have a devastating impact on learning outcomes and progress for those students.”

With most California school districts starting online learning this month, the California Governor’s office estimated that one in five students in the state lack high-speed Internet or an appropriate computing device at home, Starry said.

A parent survey conducted by the governor’s office in April found that 50% of low-income families and 42% of families of color said that they lacked a laptop, Chromebook or tablet necessary to access their students in distance learning, Starry said.

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