Among the many issues the pandemic has highlighted, perhaps none is more critical than the lack of online access among a significant portion of our students. While schools districts have tried to connect with every student during online learning through distributing technology to students, putting WiFi access points on school buses and parking them near students, and more, many students are still not being included in the shift to online learning. National PTA has partnered with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation to form Every Student Connected, a coordinated advocacy effort to raise awareness, educate, and create a sense of urgency around the inability of over 12 million students to participate in online learning.
At Every Student Connected, you will find:
- Data on the lack of connectivity both nationally and at the state level. For Illinois, 37.8% of people cannot purchase reasonably priced internet access (defined as under $60/month) and 5.8% do not have access to the internet at fast enough speeds for school and work (defined as 25 mbps or faster).
- An advocacy approach that will collect state-specific stories, create “road shows” to build awareness, and help PTA leaders push local, state, and national leaders for solutions.
- An opportunity to share your story. Have your PTA help gather stories of families struggling with school activities due to internet connectivity issues and share them at Every Student Connected or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sample tweets using the #EveryStudentConnected hashtag to help build awareness.
While online learning is a necessity during the pandemic, we cannot afford to leave more than 12 million students behind. Help share stories from your PTA and school about the lack of online access and use your PTA’s social media tools to raise awareness. It is part of PTA’s mission to “make every child’s potential a reality,” and to do that we must ensure that every child and teacher has access to technology and the internet.