Yale University is making a $50,000 donation toward the purchase of Google Chromebooks for students in need within the West Haven Public School District. The district has temporarily closed its schools and shifted to online learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making student access to home computers an urgent priority.
With this donation, the university is working with Mayor Nancy Rossi, West Haven State Representative Dorinda Borer, and West Haven Councilman Barry Lee Cohen to keep students connected to resources and education.
“As the city’s councilman for the district that is the home of Yale West Campus, I witness firsthand the strong town-gown relationship that has been critical in spurring economic development initiatives and contributing to the livelihood of our small businesses,” said Cohen. “Yale’s extremely generous contribution not only facilitates the education of our youth but provides some sorely needed financial assistance to West Haven families during this most challenging time. I look forward to continued collaboration with the university.”
Mayor Rossi added: “I want to thank Yale for their generosity and allegiance to the West Haven community and our students, and thank you to State Representative Dorinda Borer for taking the lead. The more than 200 Chromebooks will ensure that our children have the tools needed for scholastic success in these very difficult and uncertain times. Yale is a true partner, and their support is very much appreciated.”
Borer also acknowledged the importance of the donation.
“When Yale committed to helping our community, I recommended the donation of Chromebooks because I believe it aligns perfectly with Yale’s mission and focus on the importance of a quality education,” she said. “Every child in our city deserves that same opportunity towards a quality education, and this donation coupled with the Rotary Club’s computer donation is going to help fill a critical gap.”
And Superintendent Neil Cavallaro underscored the need for computers in particular.
“On behalf of the West Haven Board of Education, I want to thank Yale University for the generous donation of $50,000,” Cavallaro said. “The funds will go towards the purchase of Chromebooks for students and their families who simply don’t have the resources during these trying times to purchase them. These devices are a critical component of the school district’s distance learning plan. I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge State Representative Dorinda Borer for working with the university to secure the funds. From her time on the Board of Education, and now as a state representative, she has always been a strong advocate for education and, most importantly, our students.”
While closing schools and transitioning to online learning is essential for stemming the spread of the virus, there are significant gaps in computer and internet access among students.
“Our donation reflects Yale University’s ongoing commitment to education and to addressing the community’s needs for distance learning during these challenging times,” said Yale’s Lauren Zucker, associate vice president for New Haven Affairs and University Properties.
Yale has moved quickly on several fronts to support the local community, and will continue to do so through a growing number of initiatives and programs. To learn more about Yale’s response to COVID-19, visit the Yale COVID-19 response website.