Free laptops heading to low-income homes in Montgomery Co.

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A $7 million grant from the Maryland Connected Devices Program will put 34,000 free Chromebook laptops into the hands of disadvantaged families in Montgomery County, in an effort to bridge the digital divide.

Thousands of low-income families in Montgomery County will be getting free laptops from a state grant that hopes to bridge the digital divide.

The $7 million grant from the Maryland Connected Devices Program will put 34,000 free Chromebook laptops into the hands of disadvantaged families.

“Access to a computer is essential for every family, regardless of their income level,” said County Executive Marc Elrich in a statement. “While children may have access to computers through schools, it is equally vital for parents, working individuals, and college students to have their own computer.”

Although low-income families make up only 21% of households in Montgomery County, they represent about 60% of households without computers.

To qualify for one of the computers that are limited to one per household, recipients must be enrolled in a benefit program such as SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, Pell Grants for college students, Housing Choice Vouchers or Project-Based Rental Assistance.

All must be enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity or Lifeline internet or telephone discount programs and earn less than 200% of the federal poverty rate. That is around $60,000 for a family of four. Recipients must also be Maryland residents, although U.S. citizenship not required.

Eligible residents can make an appointment for one of seven laptop distribution events that the county has scheduled throughout July.

Read the full schedule below.

  • Tuesday, July 18, Noon-4 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg, Md.
  • Wednesday, July 19, Noon-4 p.m. Wheaton American Job Center, 11510 Georgia Ave., Wheaton, Md.
  • Thursday, July 20, 1-5 p.m. McGee Library, 900 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring, Md.
  • Saturday, July 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Eastern Montgomery Regional Service Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Rd., Silver Spring, Md.
  • Tuesday, July 25, Noon-4 p.m. Germantown American Job Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown, Md.
  • Thursday, July 27, Noon-4 p.m. Aspen Hill Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville, Md.
  • Friday, July 28. 2-6 p.m. McGee Library, 9000 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring, Md.

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