Summer is officially over and school is back in session. However, the effects of COVID-19 have been endless. Students across Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia have started virtual learning but not everyone has internet access. A Fairfax, Virginia non-profit organization called Britepaths is dedicated to stabilizing low-income working families and providing support for children. In Fairfax County alone, there are 13,000 households without internet access. There are many factors that contribute to this in addition to the fact that the United States is in a global pandemic. Millions of people are without jobs and the economy as we know it before coronavirus has completely changed. Families have also had to shift their finances to accommodate teleworking and feeding their children throughout the day when they normally are at school. Support from the community would be a huge help to help this number go down.
There is a huge digital divide that affects students in this area greatly. Without the internet and proper resources, students are unable to learn remotely or complete their homework assignments. Organizations like Britepaths are needed as the understand the problem and how it drastically affects this generation. WUSA 9 and Easterns Automotive Group made the choice to highlight them for their Road to a Better Community segment. They were able to chat with Lisa Whetzel, Executive Director of Britepaths to find out about their current initiatives and ways in which the community can help and get involved.
Joel Bassam of Easterns Automotive Group joined both Ellen Bryan of WUSA 9’s Great Day Washington and Liza Whetzel of Britepaths to discuss the digital divide and the impact that it is having on students. Bassam committed to donating $2,000 on behalf of Easterns to four local families with children to have 6 months of free internet access. The fact that these families will not have to worry about paying for internet access for these upcoming months is truly remarkable. If you would like to donate to the Britepaths Back to School program or learn more about the services that they provide, please visit: www.britepaths.org
To learn more about Easterns Automotive Group’s partnership with WUSA 9 and how they come together to empower the DMV community, please visit www.wusa9.com/BetterCommunity
YouTube Link - https://youtu.be/RopceUDgswQ