AfterSchool Association Eyes Digital Expansions, With Google’s Help

Google granted $500,000 to the National AfterSchool Association to assist with the association’s digital efforts in underserved areas. The funding comes at a time when a “homework gap” is forming for students with limited computer access.

An association that keeps children learning after the school day is over is getting some big-time support from Google.

This week, Google announced it was giving the National AfterSchool Association a $500,000 grant to help support technology efforts in underserved communities. The funding comes as NAA released a new report highlighting the value that access to digital learning tools can have for students in underserved communities.

The report notes [PDF] that nearly a third of households with school-age children and incomes below $50,000 don’t have access to high-speed internet at home, a number that jumps to 40 percent for households with incomes below $25,000.

This is a problem, because many teachers are assigning homework that requires online access—a situation NAA is in a position to help remedy.

“While a majority of teachers increasingly assign homework that requires the internet, millions of students—primarily those from low-income and rural communities—don’t have access at home,” NAA President and CEO Gina Warner said in a blog post on the Google website. “This is known as ‘the homework gap,’ and it’s causing too many students to fall behind.”

The funding will go to programs that are designed to tackle the homework gap, something that Google itself has focused on with its Dynamic Learning Project for educators and Grow with Google program for lifelong learners.

“We are so excited to support the National AfterSchool Association in their efforts to help students and afterschool professionals across the country access technology and quality education programming outside of classroom hours,” Google’s Amanda Del Balso, who serves as the senior program manager for the company’s Education Social Impact programs, said in a news release.

Over the past five years Google has offered $160 million to education programs of all shapes and sizes.

(asiseeit/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!