Why This Matters
WCA has pivoted in response to the emerging needs of children who must now participate in long-term Remote Learning due to the pandemic and strives to provide more support to parents, guardians, and students alike. Now we are diving even deeper to address systematic barriers that broaden the Digital Divide and undermine equity in Digital Access to internet services, adequate computer devices, and training for parents to easily use online resources. In 2022, we collaborated with Pace University and conducted a county-wide survey that captured the digital needs of Westchester families. With the help of our Digital Access Workgroup (see below) we were able to capture the needs of Westchester families on both sides of the digital divide.
Westchester families that live in City districts such as Mount Vernon, or Yonkers often have greater difficulty getting digital access in our county. All families are struggling to cope with distance and hybrid learning challenges, but the burden is greater for families with lower income, are immigrant / ESL, have multiple school-age children, and when caregivers or students have special needs. WCA is doing all that we can to bring attention to these burdens and mobilize resources to address them.
Westchester Children’s Association leads a Digital Access Workgroup of school districts, children’s advocates, county departments, community organizations, and elected officials working together. We want all Westchester children and their families to have what they need to get the most out of remote learning including access to adequate internet services, appropriate computers or devices, and quality digital literacy training and support.
Our Current Efforts include:
- Disseminating the results of our 2022 Digital Access Survey so county and community leaders recognize the magnified inequities brought by a lack of digital access and inclusion.
- Asking the county government to dedicate financial resources and time to advance digital inclusion and equity.
- Our Remote Learning Agenda prioritizes technology access, affordable internet, and supports for students and caregivers.
- Leading a Digital Access Workgroup of stakeholders who monitor problems and develop solutions.
- Awareness campaigns to alert families to resources and programs to help them succeed in remote learning.
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