More than 55 people have helped raise $3,700 to make sure low-income students and students of color have access to a good internet connection and school supplies for the coming year. Screenshot

More than 55 people have helped raise $3,700 to make sure low-income students and students of color have access to a good internet connection and school supplies for the coming year. Screenshot

Local raising funds for school supplies, internet connection for students

Low-income students and students of color have a higher chance of having only mobile internet access compared to their peers.

With the school year starting 100 percent online, having a good internet connection at home is going to be more necessary than ever.

But some households, especially those that are low income, have trouble securing what many others take for granted — according to a Joan Ganz Cooney Center 2016 report, nearly a quarter of families below the median income level and one third of those below the poverty level only have internet access through a smartphone, which can get complicated when data caps are reached or devices have to be shared.

The same study notes that families of color, most notably recent immigrants to the U.S., have a much higher rate of mobile-only internet access.

That’s why Enumclaw resident and mother of an Enumclaw School District student Megan Sheridan put together a Facebook fundraiser to raise money to make sure low-income students, students of color, and students with 504 plans or Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) don’t just have reliable internet access, but any supplies or aid they may need.

The goal is to raise $10,000 so that money for internet and supplies can be used throughout the whole school year. As of Monday, Aug. 10, more than $3,700 had already been raised.

In a recent interview, Sheridan said she talked to Enumclaw School District staff and families about how well supplied and prepared these target students were when schools started online last spring after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was a disaster,” she said, adding that she’s heard stories of students on 504 or IEP plans receiving zero support from the school, and low-income students or students of color lacking appropriate internet access for online learning. “We need to make sure that we have extra funds that are in place to support these families, and not rely on the school. The school is having to take money that they weren’t anticipating to make adjustments, so we need to figure it out, step up as a community and help these families get their kids the education and support they need. Bottom line.”

For increased internet access, Sheridan wants to work with Comcast and their Internet Essentials program, which gives low-income families two free months of internet if they apply by Dec. 31, 2020. After those two months, rates increase to $9.95 per month plus tax.

“What I would like is to pre-pay for the school year with these donations,” she said, “so students can access their teachers and their school work like every other student can.”

And for school supplies, Sheridan and district staff are putting together “wish lists” so that Sheridan can buy supplies with donation money, hand them over to the district, and let the district give them to the students that need them.

“Typically, if we’ve got families that can’t purchase supplies and they get into the classrooms, there are additional community supplies for them to use,” Sheridan said. “If it’s markers needed for elementary, or calculators needed for the high school, that’s what we will purchase. Or we’ll do gift cards. We’ll figure it out.”

Enumclaw’s new superintendent, Dr. Shaun Carey, said he will be meeting with Sheridan this week to fill in those details.

“We as a district appreciate her desire to support our students,” he wrote in an email. “The Enumclaw School District is hyper-aware of how students are being impacted and we are focusing our efforts on the specific needs of all students.”

For more information, or to donate money, head to www.facebook.com/donate/295649778307763/.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Blotter bug
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | Nov. 16 – 23

A fake $100 bill, a gravel spill, and multiple commitments to St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Enumclaw council chambers. File photo
Enumclaw council moves on property tax, utility increases as part of ‘21 budget

Natural gas and garbage disposal services received a bump in rates.

book cover
Former EHS student pens first book of poetry

Additionally, the Unknown Poets Society is hosting a poetry competition, with a writer’s retreat as the top prize.

Jackson's on Cole Street had to close temporarily due to staffing shortages. It was planning to open up again when Gov. Jay Inslee ordered all restaurants to stop indoor dining for four weeks. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Enumclaw’s downtown economy threatened by restaurant closures

Will outdoor dining and take-out orders be enough to keep local restaurants open?

The current Enumclaw section of the Foothills Trail ends at the historic Boise Creek Bridge. That will be the end of the line until a bridge across the White River is added, a step not expected until perhaps 2023. Photo by Kevin Hanson
County close to opening new section of Foothills Trail to Boise Creek

Unfortunately, the construction of the pedestrian bridge that will cross the White River has been delayed to 2023.

A King County Sheriff’s Office photo of the crawlspace in which Urbano Velazquez was hiding when a K-9 unit was used. Sound Publishing file photo
King County settles $2 million dog bite lawsuit

The county agreed to pay $100,000 after being sued after a 2016 K-9 unit arrest.

Contributed by the Society for Conservation Biology 
A map showing the locations where plants have gone extinct in the U.S. and Canada since European settlers arrived.
Study: 65 plant species have gone extinct in U.S., Canada

More than 65 species of plants have gone extinct in the U.S.… Continue reading

file photo
COVID-19 continues spreading at a breakneck pace

Every person infected with COVID appears to be passing the disease along to 1.5 people on average.

Flaming Geyser is one of the several state parks in proximity to the Plateau that you can visit for free on Jan. 1 and 18. Photo courtesy Washington State Parks
Free Park Days in 2021 start in January

The first free days are Jan. 1 and 18.

Most Read