Today co-anchor Craig Melvin surprises ‘overlooked’ school with free laptops and internet access 

Students and teachers across the U.S. are trying to navigate the new normal of virtual and hybrid learning amid the coronavirus pandemic and, unfortunately, not all are equipped to handle the changes. 

Today co-anchor Craig Melvin stepped in to help out one such group of students in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and joined DailyMailTV’s Thomas Roberts exclusively on Friday to talk about the big surprise.

The 41-year-old broadcaster partnered with Dell and NBC’s parent company, Comcast, to outfit teens from the underserved school district with new tech equipment and internet access.

Doing good: Today co-anchor Craig Melvin stepped in to help an ‘overlooked’ school district in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and joined DailyMailTV’s Thomas Roberts exclusively on Friday to talk about donating laptops and internet access to the students

‘This is one of those schools in one of those school districts that’s often been overlooked,’ Craig explained. ‘And, a number of students there have been on the frontlines, if you will, in this fight against COVID-19.’ 

In McKeesport, 65% of students live below the poverty line and the city is one of the most dangerous in the country. 

According to superintendent Mark Holtzman, over 50% of students enrolled in the high school were also working jobs in essential services. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the school was forced to shut its doors which meant losing contact with many students who didn’t have computers or even internet access. Virtual learning was nearly impossible.

'This is one of those schools in one of those school districts that's often been overlooked,' Craig explained. 'And, a number of students here have been on the frontlines, if you will, in this fight against COVID-19.'

‘This is one of those schools in one of those school districts that’s often been overlooked,’ Craig explained. ‘And, a number of students here have been on the frontlines, if you will, in this fight against COVID-19.’

Underserved: In McKeesport, 65% of students live below the poverty line, the city is one of the most dangerous in the country and, according to school superintendent Mark Holtzman, over 50% of students were also working in essential services

Underserved: In McKeesport, 65% of students live below the poverty line, the city is one of the most dangerous in the country and, according to school superintendent Mark Holtzman, over 50% of students were also working in essential services

‘It was like a nightmare,’ Holtzman told Today. The superintendent went on to say that the education of the students was forced to the back burner at the start of the crisis as he tried to figure out whether or not the children’s basic needs were being met at home.

‘When we heard about the fact that they were lacking adequate internet access and also lacking just the devices to get online and to do the remote learning we thought “Oh, here is an opportunity to do some good,”‘ Melvin told DailyMailTV. 

To reveal the big donation, Melvin traveled to Pennsylvania and got students together outside on the football field at McKeesport Area High School.

'When we heard about the fact that they were lacking adequate internet access and also lacking just the devices to get online and to do the remote learning we thought "Oh, here is an opportunity to do some good,"' Melvin told DailyMailTV.

‘When we heard about the fact that they were lacking adequate internet access and also lacking just the devices to get online and to do the remote learning we thought “Oh, here is an opportunity to do some good,”‘ Melvin told DailyMailTV.

Incredible! Every single student and teacher of McKeesport Area High School and the middle school next door will be provided with their own laptop - which they can keep for years to come - as well as a year of free internet access provided by NBC's parent company, Comcast

Incredible! Every single student and teacher of McKeesport Area High School and the middle school next door will be provided with their own laptop – which they can keep for years to come – as well as a year of free internet access provided by NBC’s parent company, Comcast

The big reveal: When the high schoolers saw the boxes of laptops they went berserk with joy and excitement

The big reveal: When the high schoolers saw the boxes of laptops they went berserk with joy and excitement

Surrounded by mask-wearing cheerleaders and students, along with a giant balloon arch, Craig unveiled a truck full of Dell laptops. 

Understandably, The students went bananas – jumping up and down, hugging each other and screaming out in thanks. 

Every single student and teacher of McKeesport Area High School and the middle school next door will be provided with their own laptop – which they can keep for years to come – as well as a year of free internet access provided by NBC’s parent company, Comcast. 

‘Finally the kids get a break and get what they deserve,’ the superintendent said. 

'Finally the kids get a break and get what they deserve,' the superintendent said.

‘Finally the kids get a break and get what they deserve,’ the superintendent said.

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