In 2020, COVID-19 has threatened the safety of Idaho schools and threatens the services they provide. Idaho schools have proposed a variety of re-opening plans- a full open, a hybrid model, or completely online which are subject to change based on the spread and risk of COVID-19 in our community. The United Way of Idaho Falls & Bonneville County (UWIFBC) hosted a United for Education Meeting with community partners and school district members identified several challenges for the upcoming year.
Challenges identified during that conversation included:
- Expansion of access to reliable and fast internet to District 91 students
- Training for Caregiver/Parent to understand and enable online learning (English & Spanish)
- Support for tech education for caregivers (English & Spanish)
- Learning loss and achievement gaps for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) Families
Based on the discussion and feedback from the initial meeting with community members and representatives from nonprofits, Idaho National Laboratory and UWIFBC are moving forward with plans to create and implement a new program with District 91: Safe Center for Online Learning (SCOL).
SCOL is a physical location where small groups, families and/or students can go to access computers and technology assistance. The goal of SCOL is to create a safe environment to promote productive learning to supplement online and hybrid model plans.
Through grants, fundraising, donations, and community partnerships UWIFBC and District 91 will facilitate:
- Access to computers and internet for SCOL sites
- Develop a tutoring program to provide emotional and educational support
- Provide “to go” educational material and include online educational resources
- Assist with additional resources for those seeking assistance such as food, school supplies, bilingual support, resources for mental health, information on affordable/sliding scale health care providers and Teladoc.
- Work with corporate partners to help establish internet access for ALICE families in our community
Currently we are seeking computer donations for The Salvation Army site, and volunteers for tutoring. Please watch here and our Facebook for more information https://www.facebook.com/unitedwayif