Prince Rupert Port Authority announced on May 14 the partnership with with Lax Kw’alaams First Nations to supply 100 laptop computers to students at Coast Tsimshian Academy. Staff and students were facing challenges during COVID-19 with just 47 laptops shared between more than 150 staff and students from kindergarten to grade 12. (Photo supplied by PRPA)

Laptops for learning

PRPA donates $35,000 to aid local students

Prince Rupert Port Authority has donated $35,000 towards the cost of 100 new laptops for the students at Coast Tsimshian Academy (CTA) in Lax Kw’alaams.

The staff and students at the school have been facing educational challenges such as teaching lessons and completing work, during COVID-19 due to pre-existing and limited resources available to meet needs.

The school, prior to COVID-19, had only 47 laptops, shared throughout kindergarten to grade 12, for both staff and student use. COVID-19 worsened the problem as teachers were limited in the types of lessons they could teach and some children were left without necessary tools to complete school work.

“In the short term, the laptops will allow teachers to continue their classes and support more engaging instruction and active feedback with their students, ” Skye Mitchell principal of CTA said. “In the long term, having enough laptops will allow CTA to provide increased learning support both during and after school hours.”

The donation, which is 50 percent of the total cost of the project, will assist students to complete school work and keep in touch with their teachers, and classmates during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

READ MORE: New Prince Rupert Port Authority vessel honours Ts’msyen culture

“With CTA’s 150 students currently continuing their studies at home, the timing of this new investment is crucial,” PRPA said. “This comes as a relief to parents, teachers and staff who are facing the daily challenges of distance education. The need for new digital learning resources existed before social distancing measures forced the school the close its classrooms.”

“This investment will help ensure the school’s online-learning initiatives can progress and every student is given a chance to succeed, including an enhanced ability to develop individualized learning plans,” PRPA said.

The investment will help ensure the school’s online-learning initiatives can progress and every student is given a chance to succeed. This will include an enhanced ability to develop individualized learning plans.

Lax Kw’alaams worked in partnership with the port to cover the total cost.

Investing in the youth and the incredible teachers that guide them is a win-win, Garry Reece, mayor of Lax Kw’a’laams said.

“These new laptops will give our kids the tools they need right now to stay on track with their schoolwork during the lockdown and later carry on their education and development once classes can safely resume.”

“During these challenging times, it is more imperative than ever that we work together to support those in need. We know this investment will help the students and staff of Coast Tsimshian Academy finish their school year with a renewed energy and set them up for learning success in the future,” Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of the PRPA said.

Fund for this endeavour were from the Community Investment fund.

READ MORE: Search and rescue equipment on Lax Kw’alaams receives critical upgrades

“The Community Investment Fund is financed by a share of the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s annual net income that has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents of the North Coast. By investing these funds into community projects, led mostly by dedicated local volunteers, the Port Authority has been able to share its financial success with the communities that enable it. Since 2009, over 10.3 million dollars have been committed to the Fund – that’s over $10 million in 10 years, helping to make 76 local projects come to life. Each of these projects has filled an important role in supporting arts and culture, recreation, health and wellness, youth, education, the environment and other needs in the community,” PRPA said.

K-J Millar | Journalist 
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