When it comes to computers and all things electronic, schools have jumped in big-time, with education tech spending estimated to hit $60 billion by 2018. That commitment promises to continue the transformation of classroom instruction-and, in turn, homework, too. Already, many assignments require a home computer; problem is, not everyone has one, and that’s given rise to what’s commonly known as “the digital divide.”

Just one glance at the 2013 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Report of Computer and Internet Use in the U.S. tells the story:

Percentages of households with computers led by:

  • White alone, non-Hispanic: 85.4%
  • Black alone, non-Hispanic: 75.8%
  • Asian alone, non-Hispanic: 92.5%
  • Hispanic (of any race): 79.7%

In those with incomes:

  • Less than $25,000: 62.4%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 81.1%
  • $50,000 to $99,999: 92.6%

Educational attainment of householder:

  • Less than high school graduate: 47.2%
  • High school graduate (includes equivalency): 66.9%
  • Some college or associate’s degree: 83.9%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 93.5%

As noted, race is part of the equation in that “digital divide,” but the gap widens even more when education and income are factored in. And it’s the have-nots that is the heart of organizations, such as TeamChildren in the Philadelphia area. Its mission is to make sure that needy kids across the country and the world, for that matter, have a computer of their own. The outfit also provides learning software to help boost education.

And they’re not alone in providing refurbished computers to families in need. Take, for instance, ProjectReboot working out of Rockville, Maryland and servicing the metropolitan Washington D.C. area.

Another is 12-year-old PCRR and its Computers for Schools in Chicago, and fortunately there are countless other organizations who are working hard to make sure that all kids have the tech equipment to keep up with their school work and keep on learning even after the school day ends.

Many of these also employ a number of teenagers and college students, teaching them how to update computers, as they work together and provide courteous customer service to all patrons. Moreover, as in the case of TeamChildren, these kids are trained on the use of the organization’s learning software, so that, in turn, they can share that knowledge with parents. With parents then overseeing and helping to ensure their children’ knowledge base, it’s a win-win all around.

And thank goodness.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, last year 13.5% of us lived below the poverty line. For families of four, says the Department of Health and Human Services, which translates to an annual income of just $24,300. When there’s just two in the home, it’s $16,020, and for a family of five, it amounts to only $28,440.

Bottom line: Thanks to the largess of these organizations and those like it, countless families now own computers, shrinking the digital divide one child at a time and boosting achievement, too.