Bridging the Digital Divide

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Bridging the Digital Divide

The pandemic has shown a bright light on—and exacerbated—already existing inequities in our country. When schools were forced to close in 2020, millions of students across the country were suddenly learning in a virtual environment, which created a challenge for students who didn’t have access to devices or a strong internet connection at home.

Without these devices, many students had a hard time keeping up with their courses, causing a divide between students who had the opportunity to learn, and those that didn’t, simply because they didn’t have the necessary tools. PTAs across the country stepped in, with grant money and other fundraising efforts, to purchase and distribute digital tools and technology for those in need.

See how PTAs used grant money to help bridge the digital divide.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Barack H. Obama Magnet Elementary PTA

Jackson, Miss.

When distance learning began in the fall, Barack H. Obama Magnet Elementary School PTA in Jackson, Miss., knew they needed to do something to support students without devices at home—and fast! Without the ability to connect online, these students could quickly fall behind their peers. Using their COVID-19 PTA Relief Fund Grant sponsored by Huntington Ingalls Industries, the PTA worked with Office Depot to secure several laptops at bulk-rate pricing. Students in need can now fully participate in virtual learning with their classmates! #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Barack H. Obama Magnet Elementary School

Barack H. Obama Magnet Elementary School

In their own words:
This technology will be an indispensable learning tool for those students in greatest need, especially during this challenging time.
—Kacy Hellings, Librarian, Obama Magnet Elementary School


We are so appreciative of the support we have received from the National PTA to enhance our Covid-19 relief effort. There are some families that simply don't have the technology to support virtual instruction.
—John Johnson Ed.S., Principal, Obama Magnet Elementary School



McWillie Elementary PTA

Jackson, Miss.

With students learning online at McWillie Elementary School in Jackson, Miss., there are vast differences in class participation and progression between the kids who have devices at home and those who don’t. Kids without technology resources are missing virtual classes and had to rely on weekly paper packets to support their education. McWillie Elementary School PTA is using the COVID-19 Relief Grant, sponsored by TikTok, to purchase Chromebooks so every child can attend virtual class. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

In their own words:
We already knew the education gap existed, but unfortunately this virus and its effect on education widened the gap. I am so thankful our PTA will be able to provide much needed devices to families.
—Christina Seanor, McWillie Elementary School PTA Member


Oak Crest Intermediate PTA

San Antonio, Texas

As a Title 1 school, many students at Oak Crest Intermediate in San Antonio, Texas, didn’t have devices at home to participate in distance learning. While the district provided some Chromebooks, they didn’t have enough for everyone. The superintendent reached out to the community asking for donations so they could accommodate every student in need. Using the COVID-19 Relief Grant sponsored by TikTok, the Oak Crest PTA purchased Chromebooks, reducing the number of additional devices the district needed to help every student participate effectively in virtual classes for the upcoming school year. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

In their own words:
We are very thankful for the Oak Crest PTA and their vision and dedication to the students and staff, not only during this difficult time but every day.
—Judy Burns, East Central ISD Chief Financial Officer


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