The Riverhead Central Faculty Association has teamed up with teachers associations across the North Fork to help get Chromebooks into the hands of their students.

The teachers associations have purchased 50 Chromebooks for their pupils who would otherwise not have access to technology needed for distance learning, with schools closed for at least another two weeks.

The teachers are asking members of the community to join them in the cause. They have started a GoFundMe page to raise money to purchase more of the inexpensive notebook computers.

“The number of computers that our schools have to give to families is finite, and as teachers we are concerned that the most vulnerable of our students might not have the tools they need to succeed remotely,” Riverhead Central Faculty Association president Gregory Wallace said.

Riverhead, like most districts, has e-boards, Google classroom and other online resources for students in grades 5-12.

“We are doing our best to ensure equity for all of our students during this time,” Wallace said. “We’re worried about children being left behind.”

The Mattituck-Cutchogue Teachers Association, Southold Faculty Association, Greenport Teachers Association and Oysterponds Faculty Association and the Riverhead Central Faculty Association have partnered on the effort.

“We understand that there are economically distressed families in our communities that do not have all the tools they need to learn remotely during this crisis,” said Southold Faculty Association president Mike Carver.

Anyone who would like to help with this initiative can reach out to the group by emailing the North Fork Tech Project.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday he would order schools in New York State to remain closed through at least April 15. As that date nears, he said, he would reassess the situation and determine whether it is safe to allow schools to reopen.

State health officials say that the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in New York is expected to occur in two to three weeks — right around mid-April.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said today he thinks it is doubtful, for that reason, that schools would reopen April 15.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.