GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Public Library is working with five community partners to lend out hot spots to families without access to the internet. With more students engaging in remote learning, this service expands internet access to local families.
The city library system has partnered with HQ - Runaway & Homeless youth Drop-in Center, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, The Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities - Cook Arts Center, Baxter Community Center, and The Urban League to provide hot spots to families that don't have a high-speed internet connection.
Mobile hot spots provide an internet connection from anywhere.
“With the expansion of virtual education across the city due to COVID-19, it’s imperative that we confront the digital equity gap,” said Jessica Anne Bratt, Youth Services Supervisor at GRPL in a news release. “Students without access to high-speed internet experience an immeasurable disadvantage during distance learning. Providing hot spots to neighborhoods with high need promotes equitable learning opportunities.”
GRPL said it identified neighborhood organizations that serve a "large population of tech-disadvantaged households and residents."
Bratt said the COVID-19 pandemic also made internet access tricky as some families are experiencing unemployment or underemployment.
"Many struggle to pay for high-speed internet. GRPL is committed to bridging this technology gap through our community hot spot lending service," Bratt said.
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