A group of Brentwood residents has paired up with a local community organization to bring backpacks, school supplies and Google Chromebook laptop computers to local students.
Barbara Olsen, a resident of Trilogy at the Vineyards and a retired eighth-grade teacher, led the effort. She and her community at Trilogy have raised $17,850 to help students in need at Brentwood’s three middle schools. They were aided by Delta Community Services, a Brentwood-based nonprofit organization that helps low-income seniors and families.
“People here have extremely generous hearts, and they want to give back,” Olsen said. “These kids are our neighbors.”
Olsen and the group spent about $5,000 on more than 100 backpacks filled with supplies, donating them to students to get them started for the year. Then she spoke to Dana Eaton, Brentwood Union School District superintendent, to determine what other needs there were among students.
“As a former teacher, my passion is making sure kids are ready for school,” Olsen said.
With nearly $13,000 in donations left to allocate, they decided students could use Google Chromebooks for schoolwork and homework. Olsen narrowed her focus to eighth-graders — perhaps partly because of her own experience as an eighth grade teacher, but also to help students prepare for high school.
Eaton, alongside English and math teachers from Brentwood’s three middle schools — Edna Hill, William B. Bristow and J. Douglas Adams — identified responsible eighth-graders who could benefit from Chromebook donations. At this point, 37 have been purchased, and they will be delivered to students shortly. The Chromebooks will be gifts to students, not loans, meaning they can take them on to high school.
Olsen also sought help from Dean Smith, an information technology professional from Lafayette, whom students or their parents can contact if they experience any issues with their Chromebooks.
“There has been such a growing excitement in Trilogy for these kinds of programs,” Olsen said. “If we can do one thing to make things better for students, it makes a difference.”
For more information about Delta Community Services, visit www.deltacommunityservices.com.