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Jill Cryder, left, and Heather Brown, right, sanitize donated laptops to prepare them for distribution to local students on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Kendall Idaho Center Auto Mall in Nampa, as part if Idaho Business for Education’s Community Activation Project to bridge the digital divide.

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BOISE — Gov. Brad Little has proclaimed Aug. 5 as “Close the Digital Divide Day," and he's calling on Idahoans to donate used laptops and other electronic devices to help K-12 students access blended learning opportunities.

The State Board of Education said Thursday it's identified a critical gap in access to devices and connectivity for students across the state.

On Wednesday, Idaho Business for Education, a business coalition that's been leading an effort to collect devices for students, will have drop-off sites set up throughout the state to collect devices.

As of early July, Idaho was short more than 186,000 digital devices needed to provide online instruction access for students and teachers, according to a State Board of Education survey.

“Our schools will be returning from the summer break over the next few weeks. As they do, it will be critical for our students to have access to the instruction the schools will be providing, regardless of whether it is in-person or through a blended learning model," Board President Debbie Critchfield said in a press release Thursday.

Idaho Business for Education's local drop-off sites on Wednesday will be:

  • Kendall Ford, 250 E. Overland Rd., Meridian
  • Kendall Auto Mall, 15700 N. Idaho Center Blvd., Nampa
  • Downtown Boise YMCA, 1050 W. State St. 
  • West Boise YMCA, 5959 N. Discovery Way
  • South Meridian YMCA, 5155 Hillsdale Ave.
  • Caldwell YMCA, 3720 S Indiana Ave.
  • Discovery Center of Idaho, 131 W Myrtle St., Boise
  • Albertsons, Eagle Plaza, 250 S Eagle Rd.
  • Albertsons, Broadway Center, 1219 Broadway Ave., Boise
  • Albertsons, South Nampa, 2400 12th Ave. Road

Find donation requirements at idahobe.org/close.

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