HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Many people take for granted having the ability to read, but it’s a critical life skill that far too many lack.
“Literacy is so important because if you can`t read you can`t truly function,” said Claire Robinson of High Point LEAP.
She started the non-profit in 2014 to provide academic and enrichment opportunities to children in high-poverty communities through tutoring and mentoring. LEAP stands for literacy empowers all people.
“We`re serving 400 children after school each week and our summer camp, called camp Carey, we were able to serve 82 children as well,” Robinson said.
And on this day, the non-profit is celebrating the more than 80 students who completed the camp named after Tim Ilderton's father.
“We raised $30 thousand to help all these children come free, about $500 dollars a child,” said Ilderton, chairman of the board for High Point Leap and CEO of Ilderton Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram. “They get to come, learn and have fun and stay off the streets and be ready for the next year.”
As part of the celebration, each child is getting a big surprise: a new laptop through "Technology for the Future."
There are many benefits to the special laptops, which the children will be able to bring between home and school.
“They have safe browsing, access to thousands of apps, reading programs, math programs, anything and everything they can think of,” said Adrian Martinca, chairman and founder of Technology for the Future.
The laptops were purchased by an anonymous donor of the High Point Community Foundation.
“If we give them a safe browsing environment to access unlimited information that our 21st century tools bring us, and we do it safely, then we can truly open up doors for their potential as individuals and create a brighter future for our communities overall,” Martinca said.
And achieving digital Literacy, Robinson says, is an important part of creating 21st century leaders.
“We know that the tech jobs and jobs of future are going to be geared toward someone who has those skills,” Robinson said. “So we`re trying to develop those skills in our children at an early age.”