How We’re Helping Close the Homework Gap in Dayton, Ohio

AT&T Blog Team
April 28, 2022
Community Impact

How We’re Helping Close the Homework Gap in Dayton, Ohio

Affordable and reliable connectivity is critical for remote work, learning and commerce – and for staying digitally connected to family, friends, news and information.

When it comes to students, millions are unable to participate in digital learning because they don’t have an internet connection or device. What’s more, requirements to work and learn remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic have shed greater light on the digital divide that has long left millions of students and families without essential broadband connectivity.

As students, teachers and parents look toward the springtime ‘home stretch’ of the 2021-2022 school year, many are measuring progress made to close education gaps that were opened by pandemic-induced learning loss in 2020 and early 2021.

We’re connecting with local non-profits to provide resources directly to students, helping bridge those gaps created by the pandemic. In the Dayton, Ohio area, two non-profits are using AT&T Foundation grants, totaling over $25,000, to help improve academic achievement for students in need.

These grants are being used to:

  • Provide homework assistance via tablet computers
  • Support after school tutoring
  • Bolster after school enrichment activities

One recipient, the Omega Community Development Corporation’s (CDC) Scholars of HOPE (Healthy, Optimistic, Prepared, Educated) After School Program, has used the AT&T Foundation grant to help provide access to the internet for 100 students who are challenged to find access to technology. The program utilizes tablet computers to provide homework assistance, and to enhance project-based learning and enrichment activities. The Scholars of HOPE is also introducing a tablet ‘lending library’ to creatively engage children and their families in digital activities that reinforce the use of internet in completion of homework and extra-curricular activities at home.

For Learn to Earn Dayton, grant dollars are supporting tutoring and academic enrichment after school hours and during the summer for more than 60 children in elementary, middle and high school within the Huber Heights School District, helping those students build skills in areas where they show greatest need.

Despite efforts to provide high quality remote, in-person, and hybrid services to students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Learn to Earn Dayton says many children returned to school with serious educational gaps. The organization also finds that the pandemic and the related stress have worsened achievement gaps for low-income students.

We know that closing the digital divide and homework gap takes deep, local commitment to improving access and adoption. That’s why we’re working hand in hand with local organizations and nonprofits – like Omega CDC and Learn to Earn Dayton – to provide essential internet, devices and education resources for students in underserved communities.

What people are saying:

Rev. Vanessa Ward

President of Omega CDC

“We are working with students at Fairview Elementary School and Edwin Joel Brown Middle School, providing more individualized instruction to make up for gains that in some cases were lost during the pandemic. Digital learning presented problems for many students, but we are re-engaging with those students this school year. This program is helping them and their families to now experience the benefits that digital learning can offer.”

Tom Lasley

CEO Emeritus of Learn to Earn Dayton

“The relationship between the tutor and student and the ability to receive extra attention are essential for students experiencing the greatest barriers. If these students do not close the achievement gaps, studies show they are likely to earn less as adults. That presents a very real impact on their lives and the economy, so this grant from the AT&T Foundation ultimately helps our entire community.”

Rep. Phil Plummer

Ohio Representative

“The summer learning and extended school day programming made possible by these grants make a big difference for these schools, for the community, and for each of the kids involved. We appreciate efforts like this from the AT&T Foundation to help bridge the digital divide for families in our area.”

Mayor Jeff Mims

Mayor of Dayton, Ohio

“As a former educator, I applaud this work to help Dayton students overcome obstacles to learning and achievement. These welcome grants from the AT&T Foundation will help our children recover from the learning disruptions they’ve endured these past two years.”