GRANGEVILLE -- On Aug. 5, Idaho Business for Education (IBE) held Close the Divide Day to collect computers for students who don’t have them and may find themselves in a remote-learning environment during the 2020-21 school year.

“A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this happen, and all the generous community members who donated electronic devices and cash to help Close the Divide for Idaho's school children,” expressed Grangeville volunteer Andrea Solberg.

Solberg said the Grangeville donation site collected six laptops, four desktop computers, several monitors, keyboards, wireless mice and a printer, as well as cash donations.

IBE processes all the devices by wiping off all personal information, updating necessary software and repairing parts to restore devices for distribution.

“Lori McCann, IBE north central Idaho coordinator in Lewiston, will communicate with Mt. View School District and distribute available devices, as needed,” Solberg explained. “Cash donations stay with the schools in the community where they are collected.”

Overall, IBE collected nearly 1,300 computers at its 47 drop-off locations across the state. In addition, nearly $20,000 in cash donations was collected, which can be used to buy computers, or internet service for students who do not have these learning tools at home.

“IBE is so grateful for the generosity of the many Idahoans who donated computers and money to our Close the Divide Day,” said IBE President and CEO Rod Gramer. “We are also very grateful for all the volunteers who gave up much of their day.”

Close the Divide was sponsored by STCU, the Innovia Foundation, Albertsons, KTVB, KREM, Intermountain Gas, Idaho Central Credit Union, Sparklight, the Idaho Press, and the Garrigan Lyman Group. 

IBE will continue accepting donations through the end of the month. Reach the organization at lbarbour@idahobe.org or go to www.idahobe.org/close.

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