On Thursday, August 20, 2020, the International WeLoveU Foundation hosted a webinar launching its new educational program. It’s called, “Closing the Homework Gap: Bridging the Digital Divide for Students and Families.” WeLoveU’s program is a direct response to the pressing technology crisis, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, WeLoveU’s focus is on Essex County public schools in New Jersey. Studies show that Essex County students, families and teachers feel the effects of the digital divide more than other counties in the Garden State.
More than 500 participants tuned in to hear from guest speakers Dr. April Vauss, Superintendent of Irvington Public Schools, and Roger León, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. The New Jersey school representatives shared how the transition to remote learning has impacted students and what’s needed to support them this school year.
Learning About the Homework Gap
The audience at home learned a handful of statistics about the homework gap. It painted a picture of just how serious the situation is for students in New Jersey. In July 2020, the New Jersey Department of Education estimated about 230,000 students still need resources to connect for classes online. Dr. Vauss added that in her district alone, 58% of students didn’t have technology at home.
Research suggests the digital divide has always existed. In the past, school computer labs and libraries were open to students to complete their homework tasks. However, the pandemic has eliminated those options and made the digital divide more prevalent.
Help Close the Homework Gap by Bridging the Digital Divide
Though brief, the WeLoveU Foundation’s Closing the Homework Gap webinar was a pool of helpful information. All participants learned how to help close the homework gap by donating, whether big or small because every little bit helps. The WeLoveU Foundation will be donating Chromebooks to the Irvington and Newark school districts.
Click here to read more about Closing the Homework Gap and how to help.