Cassie Franklin, mayor of Everett, hands out laptops to kids at the South Everett/Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club in Everett on Wednesday morning. The laptops are part of Comcast Digital Equity Initiative that will give away 400 laptops.(Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Cassie Franklin, mayor of Everett, hands out laptops to kids at the South Everett/Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club in Everett on Wednesday morning. The laptops are part of Comcast Digital Equity Initiative that will give away 400 laptops.(Kevin Clark / The Herald)

400 youths will get a free laptop in effort to boost digital literacy

Forty-five kids received one Wednesday at the South Everett/Mukilteo Boys Girls Club. Comcast is giving them out.

EVERETT — School’s out in Everett, but some kids had even more to be excited about on the last day of the school year.

About 45 kids were surprised Wednesday with free laptops to take home at the South Everett/Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club, provided by Comcast as part of a donation of 400 laptops — valuing almost $100,000 total — to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County.

The remaining laptops will be distributed at other clubs throughout the county.

Comcast made an additional surprise contribution of $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County at Wednesday’s event.

The south Everett/Mukilteo kids and staff celebrated with pizza and a visit from Everett mayor Cassie Franklin.

The summer is an especially crucial time for kids to have access to digital devices and the internet, said Marci Volmer, chief operating officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. She explained having access to resources helps combat “learning loss.”

“Research does show that that kids that have more resources tend to retain their information over the summer better than kids that don’t,” Volmer said.

In 2020, students with reliable computer and internet access consistently scored higher on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, compared to those without. The gap for fourth-graders was around a year of learning, while it was around three years of learning for eight-graders.

“It’s really important that kids are super, super tech savvy because that’s what the careers are that they’re going to be going into,” Volmer said, “that’s how they’re going to be learning in school.”

Natalie Kahn: 425-339-3430; natalie.kahn@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @nataliefkahn.

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