The Grand Rapids Public Library collaborated with five neighborhood organizations to provide free Wi-Fi hot spots for local students and families who are participating in distance and hybrid learning during COVID-19.
The partnering organizations are HQ Runaway and Homeless Youth Drop-in Center, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities – Cook Arts Center, Baxter Community Center and The Urban League. They are offering free mobile hot spots to students and families who lack high-speed internet connection.
“With the expansion of virtual education across the city due to COVID-19, it’s imperative that we confront the digital equity gap,” said Jessica Anne Bratt, youth services supervisor at GRPL. “Students without access to high-speed internet experience an immeasurable disadvantage during distance learning. Providing hot spots to neighborhoods with high needs promotes equitable learning opportunities.
“COVID-19 has further compromised access to the internet as families experience unemployment or underemployment. Many struggle to pay for high-speed internet. GRPL is committed to bridging this technology gap through our community hot spot lending service.”