Earlier this week Little Lights launched Learning Hubs, a new program that gives students living in public housing access to our sites during school hours. By being physically present at our sites, students can access resources like high speed internet and computer devices that are necessary to participate in distance learning – but that millions of school-age children in the U.S don’t have access to at home. [1]

“Distance learning has been a difficult transition for many families, including many of the families we serve,” says Karmen Taylor, Program Director at Little Lights.

Living in households that lack home internet service, high-speed internet, access to reliable computer devices or help from parents who know how to use them are just a few of the challenges many Black and Brown students face while navigating online learning. 

In response to these sorts of challenges, Little Lights has converted each of our sites into safe, socially-distanced spaces where students can get access to the academic help and equipment they need. 

“By offering Learning Hubs, students will have access to computers, reliable internet, printers, school supplies, and can get homework help from staff so that they can work on and turn in their homework assignments,” Karmen shared. “We are glad that all of these resources are being provided in a safe and sanitized environment.” 

Little Lights staff have implemented several safety protocols to keep everyone inside of the site safe, including wearing masks, face shields, and plastic aprons and placing 6 feet floor markers to help keep students and staff stay safely distanced from each other throughout the site. 

“We make sure that the equipment used by students are cleaned and sanitized before and after students use them,” Karmen says. “In addition to the computer at their desk, students are also given their own supply box with paper, pencil, and supplies. The use of individual boxes for each student is an added measure of safety to ensure students are only coming into contact with their own, personal belongings.”

When students arrive at the Learning Hubs, staff also provide students with a mask, hand sanitizer, and check their temperature. 

Through Learning Hubs, Little Lights hopes to give students a safe space where they can access technology, get help with their homework, and most importantly see there are people who care and are ready to help them.

 

Footnotes

  1. Shoichet, Catherine, “When Schools Go Online, These Students Get Left Behind.” CNN https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/us/distance-learning-inequality/index.html. Accessed October 9, 2020.