Can School-Issued Laptops Help Students Beat the Summer Slide?

One principal in Kansas thinks she’s figured out a way to help her students beat the summer slide. To keep them up to speed on academics during the summer break, her school is handing out laptops, free of charge.

Topeka Public Schools is one of a growing number of districts around the country experimenting with such programs.

"It has opened up a huge educational resource to our kids who may not have access otherwise," said Principal Kelli Hoffman.

Her students admit they use the devices for chatting and Netflix, but they swear they’re using them to keep up with schoolwork during the break too.

"Because I took summer school it was easier for me to get classes done than it was before, and I used it to apply for scholarships," said one student, who is now on her way to college.

Advocates say these programs also help bridge a digital divide that only worsens in summer months, contributing to student inequality.

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