03/05/21
Brice Bunner
Philanthropy

Modest Tech Donation Saves a Covid-Stricken School

summerfield waldorf school and farm_sage sustainable electronicsThe Request: to remain agile during a pandemic

The Donor: Charles Schwab | The Donation: 25 Laptops

A different mindset to guide them

Designed around a non-traditional, holistic learning environment, Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm boasted a predominately technology-free curriculum. Focusing on learning the “natural way;” through the senses, the spirit, and the mind, Summerfield students would attend class as much in and around the 32 acres the school sits on as they would in their classrooms; tending fields and working with their hands as an integral part of their curriculum.

In this digital-centric age, Summerfield stands out by introducing technology only when it’s “developmentally relevant,” and even having teachers who eschew technology in their personal lives. This non-traditional outlook provides students with "the experiential background they need to meet new challenges in a creative and responsible manner."

But when the lockdowns and the subsequent isolation from the pandemic hit, the school was forced to look to technology for distance learning. Without the funds to support this costly shift, however, Summerfield might be forced to close its doors.

summerfield waldorf school and farm_GoodTogether_sage Sustainable Electronics

Small steps for big companies

Typically, people think giant corporations are too big to notice small organizations with their giving. Not so for the recent generosity shown by Charles Schwab in light of Summerfield Waldorf’s difficulty. “On some level,” as Caryn Shapiro, Development Director for Summerfield, says, “[the laptops donated by Schwab] saved the high school.”

Technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can do great damage to childhood development and limit many a child’s ability to real-world problem solve. But, on the other hand, it can connect isolated students and bring any classroom to the living room. Keeping technology in check—especially with regards to childhood development—is as important as ever. And, thankfully, Summerfield will survive the pandemic to keep offering this holistic experience, because of Charles Schwab and its GoodTogether donations.

 

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