“We could not be more excited and appreciative to have just received $50,000 from College Spark for the purchase of devices to improve our remote learning experience for our students.”
Dr. Jeff Hardesty, Superintendent at Oroville School District
SEATTLE – Oroville School District has been awarded a $50,000 grant to support online learning during the pandemic from College Spark Washington.
College Spark Washington awarded a total of $241,000 to seven rural school districts in Washington state to support remote learning amid school closures due to COVID-19. The funding will provide laptops and internet hotspots for students who don’t have access.
School officials have voiced concerns about learning inequities in the state, which are magnified by a lack of computer or internet access in some communities.
“As a funder, we try to be responsive to our community. During this time of public health concern and school closures, directing funding towards equitable technology access is a critical way to meet student needs,” said Warren Brown, Executive Director at College Spark.
The coronavirus has exposed a digital divide in many communities. For rural students, remote learning along with coronavirus is a tough challenge.
“Students are struggling in areas without internet and computer access,” said Rachel Clements, who manages the Small Districts Fund at College Spark. “Students may have access to the internet through a cell phone, which is very different from a computer, or they may have spotty internet coverage – both make learning very difficult.”
The funding will provide electronic devices and internet access so students can stay connected to their teachers and peers. As classes move online, it is more important than ever that students have the resources they need so they don’t fall behind.
“We could not be more excited and appreciative to have just received $50,000 from College Spark for the purchase of devices to improve our remote learning experience for our students,” said Dr. Jeff Hardesty, Superintendent at Oroville School District. “The responsiveness and turnaround time in rewarding the grant dollars by College Spark was truly remarkable. College Spark has helped to address a great need in our district.”
Seven school districts, including Brewster, Lake Chelan, Lind-Ritzville, Mabton, Manson, Oroville and South Bend School Districts, received funding to address challenges to remote learning.