(August 18, 2021 • San Antonio) As students prepare for the new school year, IDRA will deliver computers to students in areas hard-hit by the digital divide. Arca Continental Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages donated over 100 laptops this week at the Consulate General of Mexico in San Antonio in a ceremony with Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us so many economic disparities, including access to technology, affecting our most vulnerable students,” Ambassador Moctezuma Barragán said.
IDRA research, conducted in collaboration with families, found that many families have no reliable computer or, if they do, multiple people share a single computer.
Some students could only do classwork on their cell phones. IDRA’s research
also found that, in many parts of Texas, student disengagement during the pandemic was a direct result of limited broadband access.
“Arca Continental is making an immediate impact to help students stay connected with their teachers and classmates during this difficult time so that they can focus on learning,” IDRA President & CEO Celina Moreno said. “We must remain vigilant and work as a village to address inequity because, even as we look forward to schools reopening, we remain in uncharted territory.”
“Alliances like this demonstrate a genuine commitment of the private and the nonprofit sectors to fight against social disparities together,” Jean Claude Tissot, President of Arca Continental Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, said.
When schools had to close and shift to distance learning, IDRA partnered
with school districts to help students get access to computers and Internet connectivity, with community-based organizations to help Spanish-speaking families navigate virtual classrooms, and with lawmakers ensure Texas’ major broadband bill
included provisions to help all students, regardless of zip code, access the Internet.
During the pandemic, the Consulate and IDRA launched VOE Virtual
, an online portal with bilingual materials and videos for families with information on the civil rights of immigrant and emergent bilingual students, local educational services, and resources on how to access and succeed in college. As schools reopen, VOE will continue to connect with San Antonio school districts to provide these resources to families they serve throughout the school year.