McClymond’s High School Senior Astee Carver is creating a business plan for her senior project on her Netbook using Prezi, a presentation app. Fanae Clark is learning how to code and Karden Howard is catching up on missed course online with the Apex app so he can graduate in spring.

This is what having a computer can do for high school kids. But many of the kids at McClymonds don’t have their own computers to allow such focused work.

Safeway Inc. changed that Tuesday by donating 2,000 HP Netbook Mini computers this week to the Oakland Unified School District, which is putting them at McClymonds, in West Oakland and at Castlemont and Fremont High Schools in East Oakland so that every student in these schools can use a computer during the day at school and check them out for assignments at night

“As a junior I am constantly having do to papers and constantly need a computer,” for both the research and writing of those papers, said Kardel Howard. But “we have one computer at home,” to share among siblings so he doesn’t have a lot of time on it himself.

The rest of the Netbooks will go to the 360 boys enrolled in the African American Male Achievement manhood development classes. With this gift “Our young brothers will be able to get access to the Internet and develop tech skills,” so needed in today’s work force, said Christopher Chatmon, AAMA executive director.

Assuring that every Oakland Unified student has sufficient access to a computer is a goal the district is trying to answer, especially as new curriculum requirements called the Common Core will call for using computers more often.


Safeway also gave the district $29,750 to use on setting up the computers with applications.

John Krull, OUSD Information Technology Officer, said he hopes other companies follow Safeway’s lead and donate technology to the schools.

About The Author

Barbara Grady is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can reach her at

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