Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

Local schools gifted digital devices (+video)

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Kea St Specialist School students could not hide their excitement when they received 10 new digital devices as part of the Variety Laptops for Learning programme.

The resources were presented to them at the school yesterday. Aorangi Primary School and Sunset Primary School were also gifted devices.

Laptops for Learning is a fundraising partnership between Variety - the Children's Charity and The Warehouse, which provides laptops to low-decile schools across New Zealand.

Kea St Specialist School received five iPad Minis and five HP Notebooks. Aorangi Primary School received 10 iPads and Sunset Primary School got 12 Chromebooks.

Kea St Specialist School principal Sherie Collins said it felt amazing to be given the devices.

"Our students are very visual learners so it will be an absolute boom for their learning.

She said it had been a real gift because a lot of their students were non-verbal and "utilise our technology for communication and are confident learners with these resources".

Teacher Cathy Moore said they would be specifically loaded with top literacy and mathematics software.

"It's quite emotional, it makes you feel totally proud to be a part of Kea St and proud to initiate all this new learning we can provide.

"The students will be so excited about this."

Variety chief executive Lorraine Taylor said the Laptops for Learning programme made an enormous difference to New Zealand families in need by enhancing children's chance of educational success through the use of technology.

"By receiving funding from The Warehouse, Variety is able to deliver a programme that will address the digital divide by enabling access to learning and new technology."

The Warehouse community and environment general manager Paul Walsh said the business was proud to partner with Variety - the Children's Charity since 2001 and to be involved in the development of such an important learning programme.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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