Every middle school student in McDowell County will be given a free laptop next week.
Approximately 875 laptops will be distributed to students and their parents or guardians—first at Mount View Middle School on Monday evening, then at Sandy River Middle School on Tuesday evening and then at Southside K-8 School on Wednesday evening.
The effort was made possible by the Governor's office, the Appalachian Regional Commission, Connect2Compete, McDowell County Schools, and Reconnecting McDowell - the public-private partnership launched in 2011 to improve McDowell County's education system and economy.
The laptop grant to McDowell County Schools totals $284,188.
Last year Shentel Communication completed a $10 million investment to provide Internet access to McDowell households. A Shentel representative will explain to families at the meetings next week how they can use the new laptops to connect to the Internet at home.