The COVID-19 pandemic has created some challenging times for families and businesses. It has completely changed how our students will continue to learn and how teachers are providing lessons. Schools are critical for our at-risk children. They go beyond education: they provide nourishing food two times a day, they provide structure, play, friendships, and for some safety. Our most vulnerable students are in jeopardy of falling behind in their studies because of a lack of technology and Wi-Fi preventing them from accessing their learning platforms. HEF is working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen!
Here's an example of how digital inequities could be detrimental to students in the long run:
Third grade has been identified as one of the most decisive years in a child’s education. Children who cannot read by third grade are four times less likely to graduate than students who can read by that age. In our district’s 41 highest needs elementary schools, 95% of students or more are at or below poverty level and 68% of third grade students are below grade-level reading on average. Without technology and access to their eLearning, they will not continue learning at the level and speed they should and lose skills that teachers have helped them develop.
In collaboration with the school district, we’ve determined that
a critical number—thousands of students are without a computer or are unable to access free Wi-Fi services because they are outside of service areas or don’t meet other requirements.
In living our core belief of ensuring every student has access and opportunity to benefit from a high-quality education, we have adapted our work and created a Digital Equity Team who is laser focused on bridging the digital divide.
During these uncertain times, we are asking for your continued support to help us carry out our mission and fulfill our promise to empower every student to achieve both academic and personal success. Our students and teachers need us now more than ever before.