SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — While the 2021-2022 school year is coming to a close, another is right around the corner.

Out with the old and in with the new. A team out of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Hazle Township is donating over 125 laptops to the Hazleton Area School District a helping hand as educational costs continue to rise.

“We have a district population of almost 13,000 students. We have to continually upgrade and move toward newer technologies as a district. What used to cost $145 for us is now $250 or $300. We’re looking at ways to mitigate those costs. Having Amazon as a partner is phenomenal for the district and very helpful,” said Hazleton Area School District Superintendent, Dr. Brian Uplinger.

Valley Elementary/Middle School equips each of its students with his or her own laptop making it easier for families who may not be able to afford the technology.

“It gives everybody a computer. It gives everybody the opportunity to take it home to work on their assignments as they need to, it also gives them the opportunity that when they come here–everybody has wifi. Everybody has service. Everybody has the ability to do their work at the same level, at the same time throughout the school day,” said Dr. Uplinger.

Amazon’s gift of laptops is a big bonus for students, but they didn’t forget about the teachers either.

“So in the bags today that we’re giving to the teachers here at the school, there’s dry erase markers, pens, pencils, crayons, erasers and the ever-important sanitary wipes,” said Amazon Spokesperson, Steve Kelly.

It’s a partnership that began back in 2017 as the global e-commerce giant aims to establish roots in our local community.

“We recently worked with the school district to put a dance floor so they could have prom in the gym. This is just a continuation of that in helping the district with its goal to provide a laptop to each child while also making sure the teachers know there’s a nice surprise waiting for them when they get back in August or September,” said Kelly.

He says it’s one of Amazon’s priorities to give back to the communities in which its employees live including the Hazleton Area.

Students in the Hazleton Area School District will go back to school right after Labor Day.