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Three TUSD schools receive free iPads for all students and staff


TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Three TUSD schools received hundreds of free iPads with internet access through Verizon’s Innovative Learning Grant.

Secrist Middle School handed out more than 350 iPads to their students and staff.

Seventh grader, Ruth Boehme, is one of the students who received the new technology.

She said having her own portable device is providing her relief.

“Relief…so much. It was a lot because the computers were a pain,” said Boehme.

Alice Vail, Secrist and Utterback Middle Schools are three of the 561 schools across the country that are a part of Verizon’s program.

“It really does open up a new world meaning it does give them the opportunity to connect because our devices come with a data package,” said Secrist Middle School Principal, Debbee Garcia.

The grant took TUSD schools a couple years to earn.

“We did apply two years ago and we were not successful and so we got together as a leadership team and decided you know what, we’re going to apply again,” said Garcia.

Applying again landed new efforts to support students who might not have internet access or the technology they need for homework.

“If they have homework, collaborative grouping type of assignments, they’re able to gain access to internet, to teams– anything that they need will be at the touch of a fingertip,” said Garcia.

Eighth grader, Caleb Saidel, said the iPad brings the convenience factor to school work.

“It makes me feel better because now I know that if I leave a pencil at school or forget my work, Iknow that I can always come to this and it’s always rechargeable,” said Saidel.

And having an iPad that you don’t have to share and can call all yours?

“It’s awesome. It’s mind blowing, actually,” said Boehme.

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Faith Abercrombie is a reporter for KGUN 9. Faith joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after graduating Arizona State University in May. Share your story ideas with Faith by emailing faith.abercrombie@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.

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