Jon Sopel event boosts St Peters’ Chromebook appeal

Some of the lucky St Peter's pupils who have access to laptops

Some of the lucky St Peter's pupils who have access to laptops - Credit: Steve Hitchcock

An appeal for computers from St Peter’s Primary School has been boosted by an online event featuring a well-known international journalist. 

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival has announced that proceeds from the event featuring BBC’s North America editor Jon Sopel have gone towards St Peter’s campaign to provide computers for their home-schooling pupils. 

Jon Sopel

Jon Sopel - Credit: Budleigh Literary Festival

Added to donations from the Budleigh Lions Club, a combine contribution of £2,000 has been given to the school. 

St Peter’s Church of England Primary School currently has 30 Chromebooks, but with more than 300 pupils, many of whom don’t have access to their own devices, they need more for children to continue online learning.  

The Government has allocated laptops to help schools, but St Peter’s is only due to receive up to four devices. 

Headteacher Steve Hitchcock said that, following the donations, the school’s fundraising target has been met, but said the PTA was still fundraising for increased support for pupils.

He said: “I have been blown away.  

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“The generosity of the community has made this really tough time easier to swallow.  

“I want to say the biggest thank you for all donations so far, they will make a real difference.” 

The one-off literary festival online event shared the name of Jon Sopel’s latest book UnPresidented: Politics, pandemics and the race that Trumped all others, and recounts some stories of his year reporting on the US election campaign and the pandemic. 

Jon Sopel's book Unpresidented

Jon Sopel's book Unpresidented - Credit: Jon Sopel

Sue Briggs, Festival Chair, said: “We’re extremely proud to be able support St Peter’s campaign and provide much-needed educational resources to local children. 

“Alongside their studies, we hope that children will also be able to use them to find out about the wonderful world of books too.” 

Richard Allen, president of Budleigh Salterton Lions Club, said: “We believe it is essential to invest in our young people.  

“We were pleased to be able to respond promptly and in a practical way.  

“We hope that our donation will make a real difference to the education of our local children at such a difficult time.” 

The 2021 Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival will run from September 15-19 in a format in line with Government Covid-19 guidelines. 

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