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November 05, 2019

Digital Equity Beyond the Classroom Walls

$25,000 Verizon Grant advances efforts to bridge digital divide.

Friends of the Children has just been awarded a $25,000 grant from Verizon to support working with youth in STEM projects as well as transform our NE Portland building into the Friends of the Children Center for Excellence–a more accessible, technologically forward and useful space for our growing community of youth, Friends chapters and partners.

“With computers and technology now integrated into virtually every form of employment and post-secondary life, Verizon’s investment is critical to supporting our youth as they find their spark and become competitive professionals in a growing, tech-savvy job market,” explained Kate Sacamano, Development and Marketing Director. “Increasing our youth's exposure to STEM and building habits and confidence around technology will bolster our youth’s success today and in the future.”

This new funding comes on the heels of some pivotal news. The classroom digital divide has been declared closed by a national group devoted to classroom connectivity. The nonprofit EducationSuperHighway reports that 99 percent of schools nationwide now have a clear path to high-speed internet for digital learning in the classroom.

While this is good news worth celebrating, it ushers in new challenges. Homework that requires internet access is on the rise, making what has become known as the homework gap, the new great digital divider.