NORWALK -- Hundreds of students at Los Alisos Magnet Middle School in Norwalk received high-tech help by way of 300 Kano Computer Kits with screens that were donated and delivered to the campus by the Best Buy Community Foundation.
The Oct. 3 event featured assembly of the computers, right on the spot, by some 300 students, with special 1-to-1 instruction provided by 300 Best Buy managers from across the nation who visited the campus to lend their volunteer support.
In addition to helping build the computers, the managers, who were attending a corporate conference in the area, talked with the students about technology retail career pathways that can lead to exciting tech-related careers.
By the end of the mid-afternoon activity that took place in classrooms and computer labs throughout the campus, students had the colorful devices — all powered by Raspberry Pi 3 computers — ready for use by campus coding and engineering clubs and for other tech-related activities.
The award-winning school, which is part of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, specializes in science-technology-engineering-mathematics programs. The student population is mostly Hispanic and from low-income households.
“This hi-tech help, by way of the donations and support, is a special gift for our students that will not only help them in their academic progress, but also in their future career planning. It truly is a gift that will keep on giving,” said NLMUSD Board of Education President Sean M. Reagan.
Altogether, the event provided nearly $100,000 worth of in-kind donation and monetary grants from Best Buy for the campus. The goal was to help the school personalize teaching and learning for better student outcomes in computing and coding languages.
The joint initiative, which also involved participation from Los Alisos teachers and support staff, is in keeping with the district’s 20-20 Vision.
“Our vision is simple and forward-looking,” said district Superintendent Hasmik Danielian. “We will be a model for our neighboring districts to demonstrate how technology and personalized learning strategies accelerate student learning outcomes. And we saw some of that vision come true today.”
In addition to Best Buy, the event was presented in close collaboration with two local nonprofit partners, YWCA North Orange County and Break a Difference.