Comcast CEO's Family Donates $5 Million for Student Laptops During School Closures

Aileen and Brian Roberts - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of Comcast

Brian and Aileen Roberts are helping buy laptops for Philadelphia students.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and his family have donated $5 million to the School District of Philadelphia so city-wide students have laptops to study from home during current school closures caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“When we heard that many Philadelphia students weren’t going to be able to learn from home without laptops, we quickly decided we wanted to help and provide these teachers, parents and students with the technology they need to begin learning online within just a few weeks," Aileen and Brian Roberts said in a statement on Friday.

Comcast is already offering low-income families without an internet service during the coronavirus crisis two free months of broadband connection through its Internet Essentials program.

But a 2019 Philadelphia School District survey revealed only 50 percent of grade 3 through 12 students have the computer technology required to start learning online.

The Roberts family gift aims to help the city's school district buy 50,000 Chromebooks for students attending around 220 Philadelphia public schools, where Comcast is based, so they can learn while self-isolating at home.

The plan is to release the new computers in mid-April, and Philadelphia teachers will be trained to support the distance learning in the meantime.