RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Wake County Public School System needs help from the community as students are about to return to classes online.

The district is teaming up with the nonprofit organization Activate Good to help get students Wi-Fi hotspots and laptops. 

Computers and Internet are now a crucial part of a student’s success.

“So that they can learn alongside their peers,” said Amber Smith, executive director of Activate Good.

Activate Good also helped the district in the spring when students suddenly had to switch to remote learning.

“There wasn’t this opportunity to necessarily assess some of the other technological needs that families could have, so in this go around preparing for the school year, families were able to submit their technology requests and their needs,” said Smith.

She said more than 40,000 families are in need of internet devices or computers, which is about a quarter of the entire school district.

“The needs are great. People want to help and we’re going to facilitate them helping,” said Smith.

Activate Good needs volunteers to help hand out the devices to families. The distribution will start August 17 at five distribution centers.

So far, about 450 people have signed up to help, but organizers said they would like to see triple that amount.

“We want to make sure that everyone has the ability to learn and to participate, to get their needs met through our school system,” said Marlo Gaddis, Chief Technology Officer with Wake County Public School System.

There will be social-distancing and safety measures in place for volunteers.

Smith said the volunteers will have the goal to help students “to feel confident, to have the same access as their peers, and to have one thing off their plate that they don’t have to worry about in a time and a world where there’s a lot of worry but there’s a lot of good being done too.”

For more information on volunteering, go here: https://activategood.org/

There will also be staffers and a website to help families navigate setting up devices and answer any questions they have about them.