Students from Revere MACIR (Moroccan American Connections in Revere) IT training program spent three days last week inside Revere High School’s Gym programming a shipment of ChromeBooks that were recently purchased by the Revere Public School Department.
“We programmed 1,200 ChromeBooks in three days,” said MACIR director Rachid Moukhabir. “We brought 30 of our IT students, some who are still in classes and others who recently graduated from our program, to help with the effort. These were all new ChromeBooks that RPS purchased and we helped program the software Revere students would need to continue their remote learning.”
Moukhabir said MACIR students volunteered their time last week and worked with RPS’s IT Department to set up workstations inside RHS’s gym.
“As our students were going through the pallets of ChromeBooks and programming them the school’s IT Department was distributing the ChromeBooks to students who needed laptops,” said Moukhabir.
Moukhabir said since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, his organization has been stepping up to help the community and the schools.
“This is a very unusual time,” he said. “This situation is not easy for the schools, having so many students learning from home. We felt like we needed to step up and do something because it is not easy for the department to program so many computers for so many students in such a short period of time. Also, the schools would have to hire 10 to 12 additional IT technicians and that could become very costly for the RPS.”
As the school year goes on Moukhabir said MACIR will offer ongoing technical support to students and families that may have trouble navigating remote learning.
“The RPS’s IT Department got to know and trust us and we helped resolve a lot of issues some were having with the software,” said Moukhabir. “The good thing is that a lot of MACIR students are from different cultures and backgrounds and speak Arabic, Spanish, Portughuse…so we will continue to help the schools and families with software or internet issues or any other help and support they might need.”
When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit MACIR switched gears from an organization that helps integrate the growing Moroccan American population in the city of Revere to becoming one of the leading producers of masks and face coverings to help people stay safe during the pandemic.
After producing over 20,000 masks for the City of Revere and its employees MACIR made an additional 12,000 masks for RPS students and staff.
Using $1,500 from its fund Moukhabir said MACIR purchased a couple of sewing machines and fabric and MACIR quickly produced 2,000 masks in a week.
“Then we began recruiting people to help us make masks and soon we were up to 20,000 masks for the city workers and 12,000 masks for Revere Public School students,” said Moukhabir.