Fourth grader walks to closed school to get internet access for online learning

ROSWELL, N.M. — For some families, having high-speed internet access is something no one thinks about until it’s not there. But for some, any internet access is a luxury they can’t afford.

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During the coronavirus pandemic, the disparities between those who have and those who don’t are becoming more apparent.

For Angel Endecott’s son Jonathon, having to do school remotely from their Roswell, New Mexico, home is nearly impossible.

Endecott can’t afford internet service and that means they have to get creative to enable Jonathon to log on to class, CNN reported.

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He sets up his learning location outside of his closed school just to be able to tap into the network.

Jonathon told KRQE that he was protesting to allow students to go back to school.

He’s done it every day for four weeks, getting to the school at 7:30 a.m., KRQE reported.

Endecott said her son is happy that he’s back at school, even though he’s outside of the closed doors.

“He was like, ‘Yeah, I need to be back on the school property, and I could be like a normal kid again,’" Endecott told CNN. “Him just being outside of the building gives him that ‘Hey, I’m at school' feeling even though he’s not around other classmates or teachers."

Endecott lives across a field from the school, and some of the staff inside of the building will check on Jonathon throughout the day.

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A friend of a teacher at the school posted a photo of Jonathon that was shared with her. She also started a GoFundMe campaign to help get internet access for students who otherwise can’t afford it.

According to the account, they’ve helped 18 families after intending to raise only $2,500, and instead raised more than $18,000.

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Shelby Dutton, who is listed as the fundraiser’s organizer, said 47% of students in the district do not have internet service.

Help me support our local students!! Please donate to help families get internet service!!

Posted by Shelby Mc Intosh Dutton on Friday, October 16, 2020

As for Jonathon, he told KRQE that he still wants to go to the school to do his distance learning since it makes it feel more normal.

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