Perspectives – Bridging Digital Divide Provides Online Tutoring Opportunity for All
By Jim Wambach | July 13, 2021
“The Internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity.” – President Barack Obama
Over the last six months, Children Rising has launched online versions of our proven reading and math tutoring clinics. This greatly enhances our ability to support elementary school children who have fallen even further behind in their reading and math abilities due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
None of this would have been possible without the amazing progress the community has made in bridging the digital divide.
“With a levelling of the playing field in access to technology, we see a profound opportunity for community partners to take the Oakland community a step closer to the day when every child can have access to a tutor, regardless of their family’s financial resources.”
The Oakland Undivided Campaign, a partnership between the Mayor’s office of education, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) the Oakland Public Education Fund, and Tech Exchange, made dramatic strides toward ensuring that every student in Oakland has access to a computer and the internet. It was a herculean effort with wide-ranging benefits for children, youth, and families who struggled to keep up with technology requirements of 21st century education. And it was long overdue!
With a leveling of the playing field in access to technology, we see a profound opportunity for community partners to take the Oakland community a step closer to the day when every child can have access to a tutor, regardless of their family’s financial resources. Children Rising’s online tutoring provides opportunities for many more caring adults throughout the Bay Area to tutor a struggling child, all from the comfort of their home or office. And with additional tutors, we can come alongside many more students struggling in reading or math.
The online functionality is an enhancement of the proven Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math tutoring programs. Students in need of additional instruction will now be able to receive tutoring outside of school hours and throughout the summer. In addition, the ability to support parents in coaching their child, as well as provide access to educational tools, is a significant program enrichment.
Trained, caring tutors are key to empowering children to rise to their God-given potential. We can’t wait to get back to in-person tutoring, but now our amazing tutors are available online as well. We recognized this unique opportunity so that when students do return to the classroom, we will be better prepared to support and empower many more children, their families, and our school partners.