Students around the country are suffering from a lack of educational resources, including and perhaps especially books, as they pivot to an at home learning model necessitated by the coronavirus reports the New York Times. This pivot and resulting loss of access to books is being felt especially severely by low income families.
“What is challenging for people of means is a crisis for people who don’t have those resources,” explains Kyle Zimmer, the president and chief executive of First Book, a nonprofit that provides free and inexpensive books and learning materials to children in need.
According to the Times report, First Book is looking to donate eight million free books to its network of educators. The organization has already given nearly 1.7 million books to distribution hubs such as emergency feeding sites and homeless shelters.
Homeless shelters in particular, however, are receiving support services much later than more traditional home environments. Many NYC shelters, for example, did not receive city-sponsored wifi enabled devices until nearly a week after schools had closed and at home distance learning had already begun.
“The crisis has just exasperated and exposed every inequality” in the country, said Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers.
Read more about how teachers and organizations are coming together to bring books and resources to children in need during school closures here.