Last week, right after I saw Aimee and Kim’s emails, I got my own small taste of life without reliable WiFi when they cut down a giant tree outside my house in Springfield. I had four kids at home expected to do remote learning, but no internet for two days.
We improvised: borrowing the neighbor’s that worked in one area of the house, setting up the hotspot on my phone, and driving to the McDonald’s parking lot to use their WiFi. As you’d guess, not a lot of learning happened those two days. And I can’t imagine how families without internet and device access every day are struggling to make things work in this era.
We know the consequences of living without that connection: toeing up to the line of cellular data limits, kids not connecting enough with their virtual classrooms, or students stopping their education entirely as the world has turned virtual.
That’s why I’m asking you to stand up for children once more. Let’s tell our leaders in Washington to make internet access a priority.
Internet access is something we’ve focused on here at Stand, and not just this last week. For years, we’ve advocated for State funding to ensure every school in every region of Illinois had broadband access. As so many of us know, a school or home without an internet connection provides students an incomplete education, whether we’re in the middle of a pandemic or just trying to provide students with a 21st Century education.
Every student in Illinois deserves that connection. Join me and demand that Congressional leaders step up and fund internet access for all students.
We need to keep standing up for students, and I hope you’ll do your part today.