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 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
In years 2018-2020, 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 is described in the toolkit. In 2021, the toolkit was updated to include curriculum options for virtual workshops and individualized Digital Navigator support. Materials for participants are available in English and Spanish.
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).