Kids First Chicago
Launched in June 2020, the Chicago Connected program provided a bridge to learning for more than 64,000 Chicago Public Schools students who didn’t have the connectivity or speed to access their remote lessons from home. An inspiring commitment on the part of Chicago’s philanthropy, business, government and nonprofit sectors, Chicago Connected has been replicated in cities across the country and is the national model for bridging the urban digital divide.
Illinois state and local officials are requiring the use of online instruction to effectively implement remote learning plans, but the “homework gap”—that is, the barrier that students face at school when they don’t have access1 to a broadband internet connection at home—disproportionately plagues Chicago’s low-income families and people of color. About 1 in 5 children under the age of eighteen lack access to broadband, and are primarily Black or Latino. With COVID-19 forcing school districts to adopt remote learning for the remainder of the school year, the students who were already the mo