Funded by the federal CARES Act, college staff handed out more than $315,000 in resources to support the ongoing distance learning effort.

SAN MARCOS — As students across the nation continue to learn remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis, Palomar College distributed laptop computers, printing cards, internet hotspots and webcams to hundreds of students on Thursday, February 25.

The effort was funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and involved a drive-through distribution in Parking Lot 12 of the San Marcos campus that continued for most of the day.

“We have been so humbled and inspired by the ability of our students to meet this health crisis and learn remotely, but we also recognize that many still do not have access to these resources,” said Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Jack Kahn.

Dr. Kahn was on site Thursday morning to greet students and help in the distribution effort. More than a dozen other Palomar College staff volunteered throughout the day to make sure students received the resources they had requested during their registration.

“We want to congratulate these students on their hard work, and cheer them on any way we can,” he said.

To receive resources, students were required to be registered in the current semester at Palomar College and sign up ahead of the event.

Around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Valarie Yakuta of San Marcos pulled up to the shade canopies where laptops were stacked and staff checked names on student rosters.

Working at a local Starbucks, Yakuta said, “Sometimes I want to do homework on my break, but I have no internet. But now I can pull out my laptop and use my hotspot to get homework done.”

“This computer and this hotspot are going to help me finish college and have a stable life,” said Yakuta, who is pursuing her associate degree for transfer at Palomar with an emphasis in English, and hopes to get into law school. “Now I’ll be able to do my papers efficiently, and it won’t be as hard to finish assignments. This stuff will allow me to get the A in my classes.”