This Awesome project is based on the premise that children should not be getting "burned" because they lack access to hot spots and computers. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 15% of school-age children do not have internet access at home--many because they can't afford it. Children are missing out on the opportunity to study, learn, engage, and prepare during the course of this pandemic because they lack reliable internet service and computers. This already existing digital divide further threatened access to education and opportunity when the schools in the New York area pivoted to "online" learning in response to Covid-19. We know that these difficult and dark times will have a great effect on children of color--particularly the children in the community that The Brotherhood Sister Sol serves in Harlem. These young people have already seen their schools closed, their part-time jobs ended, and family members have lost employment. We know that economically distressed New Yorkers – those living in poverty and near its edge – will have an exponentially more difficult time facing this pandemic--now imagine facing this pandemic without access to technology. We must continue to support our young people in understanding this new world and one way that we can do this is by assisting in bridging the digital divide by providing laptops and hotspots to the youth who are participating in the Brotherhood Sister Sol programming which has transitioned its services on-line. These programs include, but are not limited to: a summer leadership program, a college advisory program, an environmental program, and internet-based meetings and support services. This Awesome project is focused on providing tools so that no child in the program is left behind and can have access to a chrome book to remain engaged in their course work over the summer and for as long as necessary throughout this pandemic and beyond.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (June 2020)