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  • Writer's pictureScott for Buffalo Schools

Bridging the Digital Divide

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, I have encountered some inspiring acts of service, where some great people have really come through for our kids, with TEACHERS front and center. Here's the first that brought me to tears...

Yesterday morning, I spoke with a representative from Rooftop Data, named Jeff Hoffman, who contacted me offering to provide internet service to many of our Buffalo students who don't currently have access. Shortly after I connected this rep to the Buffalo Schools Chief Technology Officer, I, coincidentally, received a call from Kidz Zone Daycare Center, which is providing childcare to 18 students whose parents are essential workers. The daycare has been diligently trying to provide continued learning, but a lack of access to the internet has made this a challenge.

Fast forward and Mr. Hoffman from Rooftop immediately came through to install service this weekend, which will be free for 3 months at the daycare. These students will now have access to the internet with devices that they will soon be receiving from Buffalo Schools.

I later heard from a teacher at my sons' school, who teaches the child of the representative at the daycare. It turns out, the teacher took the time to visit the daycare and assist some of the students with their academic work. Realizing that a lack of access to the internet was a barrier, the teacher provided my contact information to the daycare, after hearing me mention at our virtual Board meeting that I know of someone offering to provide internet service for our students.

This is one of many examples of our teachers going above and beyond and, as Superintendent Dr. Cash has indicated, being on the frontline, just like healthcare workers and first responders.

I am so grateful to this teacher, the staff at Kidz Zone Daycare Center, and especially, Mr. Hoffman from Rooftop Data who is donating his time and internet service to our Buffalo students.

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