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V.I. Access and Visitation Program Gives Local Students Laptops And Backpacks

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Attorney General Denise George said needed school supplies were distributed last month to students during the first “Back to School Laptop Give Away” launch for the 2020-2021 school year.

The event held July 20 to 23rd was spearheaded by V.I. Access and Visitation – an arm of the Department of Justice’s Paternity and Child Support Division (PCSD).

Parents of students who completed the Department of Education Extended School Year-Summer Enrichment Program were contacted and they each received backpacks and Lenovo laptops, headphones, mouses and mouse pads.

A total of 36 laptops and backpacks were distributed to date and another 8 have been assigned in the St. Thomas/St. John district. Plans are already underway for the St. Croix distribution.

“This distribution of laptops was timely”, AG George said. “Especially in light of Governor Albert Bryan Jr.’s order prior to the first day of classes that the Territory’s public schools utilize virtual learning due to Delta Variant of the COVID-19 virus on the rise.”

Access and Visitation Program Administrator, Sharon Jackson-McDonald said the parents and students expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the supplies.

She said the students are solely responsible for the care and use of the laptops that do not have to be returned. Parents were asked to agree that the computers will be used for the intended purpose.

“Parents signed agreements to indicate that they will not use the devices for personal use but for completing assignments and developing their son/daughter’s educational skills required to thrive in the 21st Century”, said Jackson-McDonald. In addition, she said each parent had the opportunity to learn more about the Access and Visitation Programs during the distribution.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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