Carson Schneider is a straight-A eighth grader at Newport High School. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, he’s been in a classroom only one day this academic year. He completes assignments from home on a school-provided tablet.
But this fall his parents were unable to continue paying for their internet service, and they faced the grim possibility it would be shut off. “I don’t know what we would have done,” says his mother, Linda. She teaches art classes, but sign-ups plummeted because of COVID-19. Carson’s father, a chef who works weddings, also had no work.
Carson is one of 2,090 students in 16 Northern Kentucky school districts who have benefited from the NKY Digital Equity Initiative, a program of United Way of Greater Cincinnati that provides families with high-speed internet for one year. Since its launch, 1,125 homes have been connected.
Now Carson, who especially enjoys math and science, can stay online and learn. “We appreciate that very much,” his mother says.
The Schneiders are typical of many families whose ability to pay for internet service has been thwarted by work slowdowns, furloughs, or job losses during the pandemic. For many, the financial outlook has not improved. And with a new year approaching and many schools in remote-learning mode, there’s a danger more children will fall behind academically.
The NKY Digital Equity Initiative plans to introduce a new internet service package for households with multiple children. With your help, our neighbors in need will be able to stay connected and students like Carson can continue to learn. Please consider a donation to United Way of Greater Cincinnati, because united is the way to help.