An iPad is a nice piece of technology for surfing the internet or playing around with apps, but it's challenging to use as a primary device for distance learning because it lacks a keyboard. Students at San Pasqual Academy (SPA), a residential school serving youth in the foster care system, no longer have to worry about that challenge thanks to a donation from the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club.
When the club found out that SPA students were in need of keyboards to type papers, send emails, and communicate online, members sprang into action. They applied for a $400 Rotary District Grant, which was quickly approved and used to purchase 20 keyboards for students.
"This generous donation by the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary has created another way for San Pasqual Academy students to connect with their distance learning," said SPA Principal Suzanne Miyasaki. "The wireless keyboards have helped our students access their assignments and teachers more easily therefore more students are engaging in their school work."
The keyboard donation was the latest in an ongoing partnership between the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club and SPA. Each year the club offers at least 10 scholarships. They also organize a Rotarians at Work Day where Rotary club members from across the region spend a day helping the students and staff at SPA harvest crops, turn soil, repair equipment, and build structures.
“Bad circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic often times bring out the best in people,” said Rotarian Mark Powell, who also serves on the San Diego County Board of Education. “Our motto at Rotary is ‘service above self,’ and our members stepped up once again to help the students at the San Pasqual Academy.”
Debby Syverson, development liaison for the nonprofit Friends of San Pasqual Academy, concurred. “These are very trying times for everyone and Rotary is certainly stepping up to do their part in helping those in need. These keyboards will make the online studying much easier for the kids of the Academy.”
SPA was created to address the needs of foster youth in San Diego County and is the first residential education campus for foster youth in the nation. The school is helping to change lives and set the community’s foster youth on a path of success.
The 238-acre campus, opened in 2001, is a unique placement option for county dependents who are 12- to 18-years-old. Four collaborative partners on campus offer a seamless delivery of services to SPA youth—providing residential, academic, work readiness, and dependency case-management programs and services. The collaborative partners include New Alternatives Inc., the San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego Workforce Partnership, and the County of San Diego. All partners work together to give youth a well-rounded environment where students can learn, grow, and thrive.