To keep up with her distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis, PUENTE second-grader Valerie Ruiz needed a computer. PUENTE showed up at her doorstep to deliver a laptop (at a safe distance), and we called Valerie’s mom to share resources about getting internet access at home.
“Many parents are worried about learning loss,” says Dean of Engagement Diana Juarez. “Now more than ever, we are using our powerful home-to-school connection to expand digital access for students who do not have the technology they need to learn from home.”
Valerie had been keeping up with her daily Zoom classes using her mom’s phone. This became more challenging as the weeks went by. Valerie was using her mom’s phone for an online book club, video posts of her math work, dance workshops, and even student recognition ceremonies. With regular parent meetings on Zoom as well, Valerie’s mom hardly had any time to use her phone for her own PUENTE adult classes or anything else. As Diana Juarez has shared: “COVID-19 has made equity issues even more challenging for our students and families to deal with. Our approach must account for that.” During these extraordinary times, PUENTE is there to help. PUENTE Charter School’s live online classes have a participation rate of 83%, far exceeding those from nearby public schools. With a laptop and home internet access, the Ruiz family is set up to succeed with distance learning.