I am the mother of two children. We live in the Austin community, where my son is a first-grader at Leland Elementary School. When we moved into our current home, I did not sign up for home internet for the first six months because of the cost.
After COVID-19 struck, we had to figure out how to engage in learning from home just like every other family did. Because we did not have the internet at home, we had to go to Leland to pick up homework packets, but within a month, I decided that we needed to get connected so he could participate in his school work remotely.
Because I already used Comcast for cable TV, I was not eligible for the temporary free internet package it offered after the pandemic began. So now I have Comcast’s internet service as well, but it costs me an extra $60 per month that I could be spending on other needs.
There are many other families in Chicago that cannot afford to pay for the internet, but they will probably be expected to continue some level of learning from home when the new school year begins in September. Chicago Public Schools and the mayor have taken the right step to help ensure that everyone has access to the internet at home, especially those families that cannot afford to pay for it.
— Denise Thurmond, Chicago
Read Denise's Letter to the Editor as published in the Chicago Tribune here.