Alaska Airlines stepped in to help deliver devices to students in Seattle. The airline has completed flights from Boston to Seattle on Wednesday, carrying over 12,000 iPads that will go to young children enrolled in the Seattle Public Schools.
Flying in iPads for students
On Wednesday, September 2nd, Alaska Airlines flew in over 12,000 iPads and cases from Boston to Seattle. These iPads are destined for young students attending Seattle Public Schools in grades kindergarten to second grade. Kindergarten-aged students are usually about five years old, while second-grade students are generally about seven.
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Speaking on the delivery, Torque Zubeck, managing director at Alaska Air Cargo, stated the following:
“We are glad to have this opportunity to partner with the Seattle School District to ensure that kids have the tools they need to hit ground running for remote learning. This was a great opportunity to demonstrate our core values of caring and giving back to our communities. I’m especially thankful for our employees in Boston. They jumped into action and worked with the school district, Apple and their logistics group to make this happen.”
Seattle Public Schools rolled out a program to provide laptops or iPads to each student in the district last year. High school and middle school students (around ages 11 through 18) received over 25,000 devices. Also in that device recipient pool are students experiencing poverty and/or homelessness and do not have access to a device at home.
Alaska flew in the devices over several days on flight AS25, which departs Boston early in the morning and arrives mid-morning in Seattle. The iPads were flown in the belly hold of the planes.
About Seattle Public Schools
Seattle Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the country. According to the district, it is the largest public school K-12 system in the state of Washington, with over 50,000 students. Almost 51% of those students are in elementary schools (kindergarten through 5th grade [ages five to 11]), another 22% are in middle schools (6th through 8th grade [ages 11 to 14]). A further 27% are in high schools (9th through 12th grade [ages 14-18]).
Like many other major school districts around the country, Seattle Public Schools is starting the year virtually. As part of the initiative, the district rolled out a remote learning program that provided a device and internet access for every student. To get iPads to students that start school as soon as September 4th, Alaska Airlines turned out to be a fantastic partner.
Airlines as a lifeline for local communities
Alaska Airlines, which is the largest airline at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, plays a vital role in the local economy and has a deep attachment to the city. Back in May, the airline teamed up with partners out in Copper River, Alaska, to fly in salmon to feed healthcare workers.
Often, airline service is the fastest way to keep communities connected to a broader world. Just this week, in rural Alaska, we have seen the importance of air connectivity in medical emergencies. And, throughout the crisis, airlines have been held to continue serving regional destinations in order to ensure they can remain connected. For rural communities in states like North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and isolated cities in places like Hawaii, air travel is essentially a lifeline. But, time and time again, we’ve also seen how big cities rely on air carriers when it comes to large shipments of vital goods that have to move around in a short amount of time.
What do you make of Alaska Airlines’ actions flying 12,000 iPads in for Seattle Public Schools students? Let us know in the comments!