CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- New technology, computers, lap tops and tablets are now as much a part of the school day as recess.
But there are kids who don’t have the money for those kinds of things and that can put them behind in the learning curve.
The New Charlotte Church wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to any student at Greenway Park Elementary on Monroe Road.
The school has a number of students who are from homes where the families struggle to make ends meet.
The church has “adopted” the school as part of a program of community sponsors, and on Wednesday, church members surprised the school kids with a gift of 100 iPads.
The students, who were all gathered in the cafeteria, cheered as Senior Pastor Chris Payne presented the gifts.
“Students who don’t have access to technology are at such a disadvantage when it comes to the market place because they don’t have familiarity with technology,” he said after the presentation.
“They coined the phrase ‘digital divide,’ so our idea was to help bridge the digital divide,” he added.
The kids themselves couldn’t wait to start using the new iPads.
Fifth grader Claudia Valle said, “I’m very grateful because some kids do need this, so I am happy and excited.”
Another student, Adelyn Donaldson said, “It means that we can experience using newer technology, and our teachers can help us out a lot more with understanding technology.”
Fifth grade teacher Sarah Faulkenberry was so happy she had to struggle to hold back tears.
“Obviously I am in love with my children, my students, and I am happy that other people love them and want to help them make it,” she said.
In addition to the $60,000 worth of iPads, New Charlotte Church also donated a room full of coats, clothes and school supplies that teachers can hand out to students who need them.