BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Rolling robots are making sure Anne Arundel County Schools students who are too sick to physically attend classes don’t miss out on their lessons.
A quick glance shows that there are a dozen students in Mr. Maldanado’s Spanish class at Meade High.
But if you were to look closer, there’s a thirteenth.
Destiny looks a little different than her classmates — her face appears on an iPad attached to an apparatus that allows her to roll down the hallways, even though she’s at a dialysis center getting treatment.
“It’s stressful, hard… but my mom and dad always told me to take it day by day,” the sophomore told WJZ.
Last year on his birthday, James Parvarizi learned he had leukemia. He was at home for six months, until his robot showed up.
“I got to see my friends, they were surprised to see me, they were happy I’m OK,” he said. “It was nice to connect with them again.”
School is more than just books and lessons. Sick kids can also feel isolated from their peers.
“Being able to reach out to people and be kind of connected again changed his entire outlook,” said James’s mom, Janelle Parvarizi.
“It’s just the perfect definition of technology at its best to help empower students,” says Brittany Jones, a BGE spokeswoman.
BGE sponsors the program. Anne Arundel County has 13 of the robots, but they’d like more. They are hoping for a donor to step up and improve hot spot and Wi-Fi connections at the schools.