Christian Chronicle

Jesus and Wi-Fi: Alaska church helps students during pandemic

Technology and tutoring benefit neighborhood children focused on virtual learning.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

When public schools in Alaska’s capital of Juneau moved to virtual classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some students were put in a dire learning situation.

While the school district and Alaska Native organizations provided tablet computers, poorer children couldn’t access lessons because they lack home internet.

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“That (online) model doesn’t work for a very large number of families that attend our school,” said Alex Newton, the counselor at Glacier Valley Elementary, which receives Title 1 federal funding because of its high poverty level.

Enter the Juneau Church of Christ, a 100-member congregation just a block from the school.

The church opened its annex building to provide Wi-Fi and tutoring for Glacier Valley students, who are required to wear masks and maintain 6 feet of social distance.

Multiple congregations across the nation — including the Overland Park Church of Christ in Kansas and the Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas — have helped in a similar way since the novel coronavirus disrupted normal instruction.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the November edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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