COVID-19 Update: Need for Chromebooks

Current Situation

During a typical school year, Heart House students are behind their peers academically because of the specific challenges faced by the refugee population (years spent in refugee camps, resettlement in a new country, past trauma, mental health, poverty) and the fact that most are English Language Learners. Meanwhile, many of their parents do not have a solid grasp of the English language and are unable to provide the academic support that their children need. This is why families rely on Heart House. Donors support provides the tools that refugee children need to cope with these challenges, and the individualized support they need to succeed academically.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Heart House has been forced to suspend regular programming. However, students are still expected to participate in distance education through the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). Because many parents work in essential businesses such as grocery stores and food service, several students are home alone during the day. This means that students are lacking academic assistance and social support during a critical time.

There is a strong concern that this disruption in the school year, the lack of individualized support, the stress caused by social isolation, and other factors such as food insecurity may cause students to drift even further behind in school. Thanks to the community’s support, Heart House was able to quickly develop and begin offering virtual services in April. These services include daily check-in calls with families, small group virtual learning sessions with students, and individual tutoring. Staff members are providing academic assistance as well as mental health and social-emotional support.

DISD recently announced that summer school will be virtual and may continue into the fall. Heart House will follow suit and offer a virtual program through the summer. We will prepare for the possibility of a virtual fall program as well.

Thanks to donors like you the following has been accomplished:


Contacts with Families: providing support and connecting students to resources


Virtual Lessons: covering reading and math, as well as social-emotional learning


Individual Tutoring Sessions: helping students complete homework and stay on grade level

Our Immediate Need

Vickery Meadow is a beautifully diverse community. It is also a low-income neighborhood that has felt the effects of the digital divide during this pandemic. It has become clear that many students are struggling to access virtual learning. Families have made do with a parent or sibling’s phone or are sharing one tablet with 5 other children – which has made attendance sporadic. Now, parents are returning to work and must take the family phone with them.  This will not work with the new reality of virtual learning, which seems like it will last for much longer than the time being. Heart House staff members have established that 35 to 40 of our students lack adequate technology, out of 75 enrolled.

Your gift would provide refurbished Chromebooks for these Heart House students. They will have access to emotional and educational support that they need during this time from Heart House staff. We hope that our students will not lose the progress they have gained this school year and will advance to the next grade level in the fall. With the uncertain end to this pandemic, we feel that these devices could be a lifeline for our students in the coming months.  We have found a source for refurbished Chromebooks and they are immediately available at $130 to $160/device. The price depends on the exterior condition of the Chromebook.

  • Need: 35 to 40 Chromebooks at $150 each


  • Total Cost: approximately $6,500 with shipping & software purchase



Questions? Please contact Amber Martin, Interim Executive Director [email protected], or 650-336-4939.

Thank you for your consideration!