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A partnership between the Greater Washington Community Foundation, DC Public Education Fund, and Education Forward DC has launched the DC Education Equity Fund, having served thousands of D.C. students with devices, internet access and basic needs, according to a new survey of school leaders.

While nearly half of funding was used to provide devices, more than 40 percent of funding was used to provide internet access to households. The remaining support was used to cover basic needs, including groceries and toiletries for families and transportation needs.

“We are proud to partner on the DC Education Equity Fund to help ensure every student in D.C. can fully access distance learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tonia Wellons, president and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “The generous outpouring of support from our community, through large and small donations alike, helped mobilize more than $2 million to address this crisis and bridge the digital divide. This support allowed schools to provide funding for what their students and families needed most during a difficult and uncertain time.”

Launched in March, the fund helps to ensure that students have the resources to continue to learn from home and to support Mayor Muriel Bowser in her efforts to ensure equity and excellence for all students, even — and especially — during this pandemic.

“Our collective organizations came together for the first time due to this unique moment to support D.C.’s students in need, no matter what school they attend or circumstances they face in life,” said Jeanie Lee, the fund’s executive director. “This partnership allows us to better serve the immediate needs of students as we face unprecedented times.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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