Long Beach eighth graders receive laptops, hot spots thanks to nonprofit E=O2 – Press Telegram

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More than 50 Long Beach eighth graders will receive their new laptops and free mobile hotspot services during a giveaway on Friday, October 28th.

The Education Equals Opportunity Foundation — a nonprofit organization also known as E=O2 founded by entrepreneur Walter Larkins and his late wife, Julie Larkins — is coordinating the giveaway again this year. Eligible students are part of Long Beach Unified School District’s Male and Female Leadership Academies at Franklin, Colin Powell, Washington, Nelson and Lindsey high schools.

The foundation takes a business-based approach to at-risk intervention, offering academically and socially at-risk eighth-grade students an incentive to improve their future learning, according to the E=O2 website. For this allocation, students had to submit an application with an essay describing how they are affected by the digital divide.

E=O2 has been providing incentives, tours, mentoring and workshops since 2010. The idea, Larkins said, is to provide the information and tools students need to succeed. Students spend an hour a week on the E=O2 program through eighth grade.

“You should see how excited the kids — and the families — get when they see these laptops,” Larkins said. “They are tools for success.”

Only students who have not received a hotspot and tablet or Chromebook from one of the city’s CARES Act programs are eligible for an E=O2 distribution. The school district made the final selection based on grade improvement, good attendance and more.

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