Addressing the K - 12 Homework Gap through Broadband Adoption

Introduction

K-12 students who are assigned homework requiring access to the internet but don’t have home internet access fall into what’s called the “homework gap.” 

The State Library of North Carolina and the Broadband Infrastructure Office of the North Carolina Department of Information Technology have partnered with North Carolina libraries to develop and implement a holistic model to equip North Carolina’s public libraries to address the K-12 homework gap in their communities. This model addresses the primary challenges contributing to the homework gap:

  • affordable broadband access with a mobile hotspot borrowed from the library
  • access to a digital device at home through school 1:1 programs
  • digital literacy skills taught to families by library staff

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in pilot communities, this model was implemented in Robeson, Caswell, Hyde, and Mitchell Counties of North Carolina. The curriculum used in these in-person digital skills workshops and the structure of these programs will be described in a toolkit hosted on this page.

A sample of these documents is now available and additional documents will be added as soon as they are available. Additionally, the toolkit will be adapted for remote delivery and to include skills for at-home learning. Those updates will also be made available on this page.

Thank you to AMY Regional Library, Mitchell County Schools, Gunn Memorial Library, Caswell County Schools, BHM Regional Library, Hyde County Schools, Robeson County Library, and Robeson County Schools for contributions to this project.

This project is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LG-70-18-0116-18). 

For questions or feedback, contact Abigail Waldrupe abigail.waldrupe@ncdcr.gov