After several months of Covid distance learning at Lakeside, the SAFE Scholarship Program co-coordinators, Ginger Blalock and Louise Freeman, noticed a significant decline in the grades of their previously high achievers in grades six through 12.
Subsequent inquiries revealed they were attempting to submit homework via old and cracked cellphones while frequently lacking internet access.
ChangeMakers Lake Chapala already was providing computer laptops to all of their sponsored SAFE students. SAFE was inspired to provide them for the remaining students. Donations of used tech were solicited, and Mike Dittrich, a partner of SAFE, refurbished and enabled the Spanish keyboard for the most needy students.
The Chapala Sunrise Rotary Club, which along with sister clubs and individual Rotarians, are sponsors 74 of the 112 students in the SAFE program, pitched in as well. Chapala Sunrise’s donation of 40,000 pesos to what soon became known as the Connect A Kid program, enabled the establishment of a new facet of SAFE assistance to students. More donations arrived from individual sponsors and donors, from both Lakeside and the United States.