City Realty Group helps increase access for BPIE mentees learning at home

This holiday season, BPIE was thrilled to donate Chromebooks to several ILS students in need of technology, thanks to a generous donation from our friends at City Realty Group (CRG). Six ILS mentees who filled out our Technology Access survey were randomly selected based on their technology needs at home, and provided with a new computer to keep!

“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the inequities that our Boston Public Schools students are facing, especially when it comes to additional support systems and resources,” said Erin McGrath, BPIE Executive Director. “These donated Chromebooks provided by CRG are putting resources directly into the hands of students, and allowing them to take further ownership of learning outside of class. It’s added encouragement to explore their interests and continue on their educational paths.”

A community-focused real estate company serving the Greater Boston area, City Realty Group was eager to help support BPS students working remotely with their mentors this school year.

“It is important that they have the resources they need to learn at home,” said City Realty Group Managing Partner Stephen Whalen. “This will make an immediate and direct impact for students in our communities who are forced to adapt to a changing learning environment.”

Launched last school year, the online ILS program was created as a way to make BPIE mentoring services more accessible to students working remotely. Support from partners like CRG helps students and families continue to take advantage of these resources outside of class time. One ILS mentee who has been working with the same mentor for the last year and a half, said that having their own Chromebook will be helpful in completing college applications since they will no longer need to share a device with family members.

Claire Hammer, BPIE Senior Partnerships Manager who spearheads our ILS program, has spent the past year getting to know families over Zoom. Before winter break, she had the chance to deliver the Chromebooks to BPS families and finally connect face-to-face.

“The best part of the experience for me was actually getting to meet ILS participants and their families in-person, given the virtual nature of the program,” said Claire. “I spend a ton of time communicating with parents, guardians, and students over email and phone, but this is the first time I was able to put faces to some very familiar names and deepen our connection.”

We thank our partners like City Realty Group for helping us continue to meet BPS students wherever they are learning. If you are interested in making a donation – financial or technological – to support the Independent Learning Support program, please contact our Development Director Andy Kall at [email protected].