More students receive laptops as L&G Re’s Lighthouse Connect widens appeal
Another 50 laptops have been given to students through Lighthouse Connect, an educational fund launched by Legal & General Reinsurance.
And it is urging businesses and individuals to join its effort to provide a free laptop to each of Bermuda’s public-school students.
During its first year, Lighthouse Connect has delivered 120 laptops to students identified by their schools as being in urgent need of devices to access remote learning programmes during the pandemic.
The project’s organisers said they recognise the need for universal access to technological resources, not only to pandemic-proof Bermuda’s students, but also to support their long-term educational potential. They are urging prospective corporate and individual donors to help.
The latest batch of 50 laptops was presented to students of three schools last month immediately prior to the return to remote learning. CedarBridge Academy received 41, while five went to Clearwater Middle School, and four to Success Academy.
Lighthouse Connect has more than 100 additional laptops on order.
L&G Re established Lighthouse Connect in May last year and provided the initial funding. The fund, which is hosted by the Bermuda Community Foundation, is designed to allow other donors to contribute towards the purchase of Ministry of Education-approved technology resources in a coordinated manner.
Thomas Olunloyo, CEO, Legal & General Reinsurance, said: “It is essential that all of our children have access to the digital learning tools they need. The switch to remote learning during the pandemic brought this issue into sharp focus, but in this Digital Age it will remain important for the long term.
“We have made strong progress with the 230 laptops we have already delivered, or ordered, but there is much still to be done. We encourage businesses and individuals to join Lighthouse Connect’s efforts to ensure that no child is left behind through lack of technological resources. An investment that helps to ensure access to education for all children is an investment in the potential of Bermuda’s youth.”
Kimberley Jackson, Mirrors Programme manager, said: “We are proud to be involved with the Lighthouse Connect initiative as it aligns perfectly with our focus, to empower students to achieve their full potential in school and life. The L&G Re team has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring students in need have devices for learning by providing the initial funds to the project and ongoing leadership in fund development.
“We are grateful to the partners who have donated to the project and we encourage everyone to make a contribution to education – the gift that keeps giving. The Lighthouse Connect project will continue ensuring opportunity for all children. We are glad to be a part of this worthy initiative.”
Kenneth Caesar, principal of CedarBridge Academy, said: “At CedarBridge Academy we are committed to cultivating Bermuda's achievers. I would like to thank L&G Re for their donation of laptops for CedarBridge Academy students. It has been a year since we commenced remote learning and overall students have done a phenomenal job adjusting to this new learning environment.
“Although, the majority of our students have an acceptable device for learning, there are some students who do not. With the donation from L&G Re we are able to provide a device for those students to ensure they can receive instruction Providing these essential digital learning tools is an investment in the potential of Bermuda’s youth.”
Dequan Trott, head boy of CedarBridge Academy, said: “On behalf of my peers I am taking this opportunity to thank you, Legal & General Reinsurance Limited, for donating laptops to our school. I am confident that my fellow peers who are in need of this technology during this remote learning will use this donation as an opportunity to continue to reach academic success.”
Dr John Duncan, acting programme director, Success Academy, said: “This act of benevolence has been a wonderful gesture, considering the Covid-19 pandemic has challenged us to revisit our instructional methodologies to facilitate teaching and learning. Our young men have put ‘their best foot forward’ in attending remote learning classes; consequently, having access to these Chromebooks has afforded them the opportunity to engage in uninterrupted learning.
“We are indeed grateful to Kim Jackson, of the Mirrors Programme, for thinking of us as we continue to provide exciting learning opportunities for our students.”
Ziun Castle, a student at Success Academy, said: "The laptop works very well and helps me to be productive with my remote classes.”
Fellow student Brittonie Taylor added: "I really like the brand-new Chromebooks. I think it is ‘cool’ that they thought of us and gave us a computer so we can do our work successfully.”
Laptops are procured in stages as funds are raised and the devices are distributed in order of need, a process managed by the Mirrors Programme. Prospective donors should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org