HOUSTON - Houston Rockets' star Russell Westbrook is donating 650 computers to Houston-area students who are affected by the school closures as a result of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a partnership with Russell Westbrook's Why Not? Foundation, Comp-U-Dopt, and the City of Houston on Monday.
The major donation hopes to close the digital divide for students who are trying to learn from home.
During Monday's briefing, the point-guard joined via video from his home in Los Angeles.
“Russell Westbrook proves why he is a champion on and off the court. This donation will be a gamechanger for many students and their families coping with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “The generous contribution from the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation will help young people stay focused on their education at home and until they can return to their classroom.”
On March 15, Texas schools were closed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus progressed, school closures were extended through May 4, 2020. The Texas Education Agency then moved to have school districts conduct school lessons via distance learning or digital platforms. However, many students still lack the resources at-home to access their classwork.
“The generous gift from the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation will allow us to significantly increase our inventory and ensure we can to continue to close the gap for Houston families most in need,” says Colin Dempsey, Executive Director | Houston & Galveston for Comp-U-Dopt. “1 in 3 economically disadvantaged students in the Houston area lack access to a computer at home. With the outbreak of COVID19, and the closure of schools, there is an immediate need to get more computers to students and families without access at home.”
Comp-U-Dopt has distributed nearly 1,000 computers to Houston families through their Computer Drive-Thru since March 18.
Families register for a computer lottery through their website then, if selected, drive through the Comp-U-Dopt warehouse where a computer is placed in their car for them to keep, completely free of charge. 83% of computer recipients are living in households earning less than $35,000 annually.
In Houston, over 250,000 households don’t have access to a device at home, across the country that number jumps to almost 10 million, based on census data.
If anyone is interested in donating, visit: compudopt.org/donations.