BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The group, 100 Black Men, has teamed up with EBR parish schools and Apple to “Bridge the Gap.”

15 percent of Louisiana parents admit to not having the technology available for their children to succeed in school. That number is even higher for those who cannot afford things like computers.

Imagine doing your day-to-day life without any electronics. “Without access to reliable technology, the homework gap widens, which in turn negatively impacts students’ ability to learn and achieve,” explained East Baton Rouge Public School System Superintendent, Sito Narcisse.

Everything we do is connected to technology. Executive Director of 100 Black Men, Dadrius Lanus, believes technology can help communities and raise Louisiana’s education rates — especially our literacy rates. “But what we have learned is that when you talk about innovation, our students learn best using electronic devices. The way that we talk to students in the past has to change and we have to catch up with speed,” he continued.

The East Baton Rouge’s mayor’s office says it’s hard for underserved communities to achieve success when they don’t have access to basic technology. To help with literacy rates, as part of the Bridge the Gap initiative, more than 500 iPads were donated to 20 schools throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. Lanus continued to explain that the Bridge the Gap Initiative is focused solely on raising literacy rates throughout our school district.

One thousand school books have also been donated to help with reading scores. The organization also gave over 21 thousand dollars to Capitol Middle School to help bring equity. Lanus says while this is a step in the right direction more still needs to be done.

“We want to increase the presence of men inside of our schools, but we also want to make sure that we have strong mentors that can not only tutor them but also mentor them as well,” Lanus stated.

At the moment students will not be able to take the iPads home but they will be able to use them throughout the school day.