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Online Education Effort Buoyed By Donations
Monitoring Progress
student monitor
Tessa Cunningham, now a seventh-grade student, is thankful for her new setup – she will no longer have to study from a tiny laptop screen all day and can start utilizing her new big upgrade. Photo Contributed

As many have found out with the new digital takeover, not only can constant online meetings be mentally draining, but they can also exert too much energy physically. Luckily, the distance learning lives of dozens of local students and teachers have been made easier thanks to an Oakdale business.

Jason Dillon, who runs Infinite Athletics with his wife and two daughters, realized that he could do something to help his community. About a year ago, they bought 60 monitors from an auction. With unsure plans, they left the monitors in storage for the next few months.

Then, inspiration struck after “seeing a lot of students and teachers were suffering from this distance learning,” Dillon reported.

He then reached out to Cher Bairos, an Oakdale City Council member and local businesswoman who has connections all over Oakdale, to see if he could donate these 24-inch high definition monitors. The hope was that instead of looking at a tiny laptop screen all day, the eyes of students and teachers would be saved from some strain by having a much larger screen to look at.

“He called me the other day and told me he had monitors in his storage,” Bairos relayed. “He said ‘I want to give them to kids who can use them right now, anything we can do to help.’”

After sharing the news on Facebook, plenty of families reached out and were given the monitors. Not only will this new gift relieve some eyestrain, but it’s often also helpful to have a multi-monitor setup, so that teachers can have students on Zoom while looking at other resources. Just the same, students can have their classes going on while reviewing material on a separate screen.

“We donate quite a bit, it’s just part of what we do with our gym,” Dillon continued. “Just to teach all of our athletes to give back to the community.”

Sure enough, this type of service has a track record with the Dillon family; they regularly go out and feed the homeless on Thanksgiving and Christmas to try and give back.

“They’re a wonderful, wonderful family. They do so much for people,” Bairos said.

teacher monitor
Multi-monitor setups have proven to be incredibly helpful for teachers. Renee Richardson, a fourth grade teacher at Fair Oaks, is excited to show off her new addition as she navigates online teaching. Photo Contributed