Helena families receive free laptops to support student education

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Posted at 8:14 AM, Aug 10, 2023

HELENA — On Wednesday, August 9, AT&T along with Human-I-T and the Montana Chamber of Commerce worked together to distribute laptops to students and families to allow them to participate in today’s digital world.

“The children receiving laptops may not otherwise be able to have access to a computer at home. This bridges the gap,” said Michael Touchette, the Chairman on the Board of Directors for Helena Indian Alliance.

AT&T worked with Human-I-T and the Montana Chamber of Commerce to provide Helena Indian Alliance and the Montana Consortium for Urban Indian Health with laptops.

"It’s not just the laptop going home with the family today, it’s also digital literacy support on the backend,” said Tara Thue, the President of AT&T Montana.

In total, they are giving out 100 laptops to Montana families. 50 of those are going to families in Helena.

“Students have smiles on their face and they’re excited. That tells the whole story,” said James Smith, the executive director for Montana Consortium for Urban Indian Health.

“I saw one young girl get her computer and she was so excited. It’s her own, she owns that. It belongs to her. She gets to take it home. It’s not a loaner. She’s extremely excited about that,” Touchette said.

These laptops will continue to help students in their educational journey and the rest of their lives.

“Anytime we invest into our children’s education we’re investing into their future. Children who stay in school because they are getting better grades, understanding the material, they become more successful and more financially successful in the future,” Touchette said.

For the past two years, AT&T has committed $2 billion to address the current digital divide.