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Hawai‘i Energy Gifts Chromebooks to 3 Big Island Elementary Schools

December 10, 2020, 10:30 AM HST
* Updated December 10, 10:03 AM
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Keonepoko Elementary Staff Matt Miyamoto (front) and Anne Kauhi (back) receiving ENERGY STAR Certified Chromebooks. (PC: Hawai‘i Energy)

Hawai‘i Energy gifted three Big Island elementary schools with Chromebooks in an effort to provide students and teachers greater access to technology.

The 350 ENERGY STAR Ceterfied laptops were distribbuted in November. Keonepoko Elementary School received 145 Chromebooks, Na‘alehu Elementary School received 100 and Kohala Elementary School was given 55. Hau‘ula Elementary School on O‘ahu also received 50 laptops.

“We are so appreciative of this gift,” said Hannah Loyola, principal of Kohala Elementary School. “It allows us to provide reliable devices to our learners in upper grades and with the news that mandated testing will not be accessible on older Chromebooks, it ensures that we have what will be needed for State assessments in the Spring.”

Some of these schools are located in areas where Hawai‘i Energy is piloting other community-based programs, part of its long-term efforts to ensure the accessibility and affordability of energy-efficient products for all residents. Hawai‘i Energy worked with the Kuauli Digital Opportunities Initiative, whose mission is to help schools overcome barriers and provide students with access to digital resources, to determine other schools in need. Hawai‘i Energy plans to distribute an additional 150 ENERGY STAR Certified Chromebooks to another school and two nonprofit organizations.

“Due to the pandemic making distance learning a reality, the need for students and teachers to have access to technology is greater than ever,” said Brian Kealoha, executive director of Hawai‘i Energy. “On average, laptops use a quarter of the amount of the energy as a standard desktop computer, so we’re proud that this contribution can help students and teachers save energy and money in communities that need it the most.”

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