Bronx Students Finally Receive Laptops Year Into Pandemic

Some New York City students are still without computers almost a full year into the pandemic. As CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reports, the Bronx borough president's office is trying to make sure every student gets one.

Video Transcript

Some New York City students are still without computers almost a full year into the pandemic. The Bronx Borough president's office is trying to make sure every student gets one. CBS News' Natalie Duddridge with more.

- Do you promise to be the best student that you can be?

- Yes.

- Do you promise that you can represent the Bronx and take over the whole world?

- Yes.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: Joel is in sixth grade and so excited to finally have a computer 12 months after his school first shut down due to the pandemic.

- I can keep this?

- Yeah.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: He's one of 30 students at MS 337 and among 1,000 students throughout the Bronx getting new Chromebooks that they don't have to return at the end of the school year.

- I could actually focus a lot more on school now.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: Bronx-based ADNIM Foundation donated $200,000 to buy the 1,000 computers and the Bronx Borough president's office helped identify the students most in need.

- Before, I've had troubles. Like, I use a iPad. I have trouble just getting on the meeting and getting work done.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: A lot of students have been using their own phones or their parents' to do schoolwork.

NATASHA ALERS: He can actually talk to his teacher and listen because his teacher couldn't hear him online. So it's been difficult also on the phone, too. And he has an iPhone but it's so small.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: The Bronx has about 200,000 students total. As of January, roughly 84,000 computers had been given out. That means some students already had their own computers but many don't. The Bronx Borough president's office says it's still receiving hundreds of phone calls from parents saying their children never received devices.

- The need is still in the tens of thousands. And that's terrible. It's horrible. It's unacceptable.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: Diaz says he's also hopeful that the new school Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter will help students get internet access.

- That's another big issue. Many of these kids may have these devices but may not have Wi-Fi.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: While school officials work on that issue, parents say they expect their kids to get to work on homework results.

NATASHA ALERS: Better give me good grades.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: In the Soundview Section of the Bronx, Natalie Duddridge, CBS2 News.

- Thank you.