BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Students won’t be in the classroom to start the school year in Brunswick County but could their classes be at your business? Brunswick County Schools is reaching out to business owners who have internet connectivity to see if they could help students without a reliable WiFi connection.
It’s a unique idea as the county gets ready for the new school year but with that choice comes the realization that not everyone has access to the internet, a critical part of remote learning.
Because of that, Brunswick County Schools has put out a survey, a call to action to local businesses to see if they could lend a hand. These commercial WiFi hotspots are part of the plan that the school system had to send to the department of public instruction once they made the choice to reopen.
School spokesperson Daniel Seamans says a survey done last year found that around 90% of Brunswick county students had internet access, meaning 10% is going without. He says even that number is unacceptable but, with classrooms closed for at least the first few weeks, they are taking a different route to ensure all students are connected.
“It’s a never-ending search to make sure we can get as close to 100% of our students having access to the internet in some way, shape or form and this is just another way to try to get that number up to 100 percent,” said Seamans.
Some businesses, like The Daily Scoop on Main, in Shallotte, are stepping up to provide the help the school system and its students need. Owner, Theresa Langley says she feels it is her responsibility to help the students because they didn’t ask to be put in this situation.
You may ask, what about safety and health guidelines? How will that work?
Well at least here, the Daily Scoop already requires masks when you step inside; they’ve got Plexiglass in-between seats, arrows pointing which ways to walk and undertake regular cleaning.
Langley says this is about helping students and their parents because she knows it’s not easy.
“One reason we want to offer it is because you’re going to have parents at home that are going to do what they can to help children, but you’re also going to have children who fall through the cracks,” said Langley. “That’s why its so important for everybody to do their part. If you’re a restaurant and you have WiFi, open up a couple of hours in the morning before you have businesses. If you’re a church, open up and let them use the WiFi there.”
For businesses, you can find the link to help out here.