By Kelsey Ryan
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. — Representatives from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy in Washington, D.C., announced an initial donation of $500,000 to provide MacBook laptops for every Joplin high school student. The announcement was made today at Joplin High School’s temporary 11th and 12th-grade campus at Northpark Mall.
In addition to the initial $500,000 donation, “One-to-One” laptop donations will be matched up to an additional $500,000 for a total of $1 million to be contributed by the embassy.
The One-to-One initiative allows every high school student to have a laptop and continuous curriculum as Joplin students transition to temporary schools and eventually permanent schools. The laptops will help integrate cooperative learning in the classroom through software programs and to replace traditional textbooks.
Dana Al Marashi, head of the Heritage and Social Affairs Department for the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, made the announcement.
“When we saw the devastation that took place, the ambassador (of the UAE) decided that we needed to do something as a country,” Al Marashi said. “He reached out to Joplin to figure out what we needed to do as far as contributing we got in touch with the Joplin public schools in terms of helping with the One-to-One initiative.
Al Marashi said one of her colleagues came to Joplin 10 days after the tornado hit and spoke with members of Joplin Public Schools at that time.
The UAE is located in the Arabian Gulf and is the U.S.’ largest export market in the Arab world, according to the UAE embassy. The capital is Abu Dhabi.