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Town of Normal News

Posted on: May 5, 2021

Qualifying families eligible for low-cost computers

Families needing access to affordable technology can benefit from a partnership among the Town of Normal, the Children’s Discovery Museum, the Normal Public Library and PCs for People, a non-profit organization dedicated to digital inclusion. 

 A May 14 drive-through event offers refurbished computers for $40 to qualifying individuals in Bloomington-Normal and surrounding areas while maintaining social-distancing guidelines. 

 “As learning and working from home continue, access to affordable technology is essential,” says Vasu Gadhiraju, Director of Innovation and Technology. “We must bridge the digital divide in our community. The need is great. We witnessed this firsthand in our community. Originally, we’d hoped to offer this program in April, but demand is through the roof. We re-scheduled to ensure appropriate inventory.”

 Qualifying individuals who wish to participate are encouraged to register at tinyurl.com/pcsforpeopleIL. Registration isn’t required, but is strongly recommended so computers can be pre-ordered prior to the event. The event is re-scheduled for 3 – 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 14, at the Parkinson Lot in Uptown Normal, NW corner of Linden and Parkinson Streets.  

“We experienced the scope of the local technology resource gap for families during our remote learning programs,” adds Beth Whisman, Executive Director of the Children’s Discovery Museum. “Some families relied on their child’s school-issued hardware to sustain household on-line needs throughout the pandemic. That isn’t sustainable. This event will help our families needing household computers year-round to stay connected to services and the community.”

 Eligibility requirements include but not limited to:

  • Household income below the 200% poverty level
  • Current enrollment in an income-based government assistance program
  • Negatively affected by school closures due to COVID-19

Answers to technical questions and additional information can be found at www.pcsforpeople.org

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