We are approaching the start of a new school year, one that will undoubtedly be full of new and unprecedented changes. One of our goals at CBOB is to provide students with the educational resources they need, such as laptops, backpacks and school supplies, to be successful in their academic endeavors. Because of this, we are currently running a Sponsor a Child’s Backpack Campaign that strives to use every $15 donation to provide a student in Alachua County with a backpack full of school supplies (to donate, visit: http://www.chbob.org/sponsor-a-childs-backpack.html).
We are also raising money for students’ laptops, an effort we strive to emphasize due to the digital divide, a gap between those who have access to technology and the Internet and those who do not. This technological disparity feeds into the achievement gap of low-income students, a gap that has only gotten worse with the effects of COVID-19. Below we have shared an essay by one of our CWOB students that showcases just how prevalent this issue is and how one technological device can make a world of a difference in a student’s education:
“Children Beyond Our Borders has helped me and my family so much over the past five years, and I am so thankful for the opportunities it has opened for me. I have three younger siblings and one older brother. My older brother was not able to continue his education because he had to work to support us. I am determined to graduate high school, go to college and use my education to help my family and give back to the community. As I begin my freshman year, I know that I have learned so much and that I can count on CWOB to help me through the challenges I will face. My mother does not speak English very well, so weekly tutoring was vital to my academic success and mentorship inspired me to work hard to become the first person in my family to go to college. The workshops also helped me explore my interests and passions outside of school and helped me develop my goals for the future. Due to COVID-19, the transition to online learning has been especially hard for my family as we did not have internet access and share two cell phones, the only technological devices we can connect to from home. If we had access to laptops, my siblings and I would be able to complete online assignments, research projects and extracurricular learning activities from our home rather than needing to walk across town to the public library. Many teachers take access to technology for granted and assume that all students have devices, which puts people like me at an educational disadvantage. As we grow into a more modern society, technology is becoming tied to academic and life success. To empower through education is impossible without the ability to provide material support in terms of technological access.”
We have also included several resources below that go into further detail regarding what the digital divide is and how it affects low-income communities. We highly encourage you to visit and share these resources. Help us create a better and equal world for every student to succeed. Contact us if interested in donating for laptops, and don’t forget to donate a backpack for this next school year!
To view how the digital divide has affected families such as the ones we serve, check out this video on YouTube: To read more about the digital divide, check out this article: To read more about the digital divide and how it has worsened with COVID-19, check out these articles: