The learning gap that affects low-income students is driven by differences in access — to quality schools, stable learning environments, technology and resources. Even before the pandemic, about 12 million children in the US lacked access to the internet, and around 1 in 5 teens said not having reliable access to the internet or a computer disrupted their ability to complete homework sometimes or often. Globally, an estimated 56% of elementary school aged children lacked basic reading skills.
COVID-19 has disrupted education around the world, and made the education gap even wider.
In challenging times like these, we must work together to help bridge the gap so that every child has the opportunity to reach their potential.
The effects of learning loss today can last a lifetime. Study after study shows that falling behind academically, even at a young age, can reduce a student’s likelihood of graduating high school, attending college, finding a meaningful career, owning a home and living an independent life.
We believe education is essential, and we're committed to funding programs that ensure children living in poverty have access to the quality education they need to succeed. Especially during the pandemic, this work is critical.
Even before the pandemic, an estimated 12 million children across the U.S. lacked reliable internet access. With many schools still closed, internet access has never been more important.
Even before the pandemic, around 1 in 5 teens ages 13 to 17 said they were often or sometimes unable to complete homework assignments because they did not have reliable access to a computer or internet connection. Since schools went virtual in March, the digital access divide has only grown wider, leaving millions of low-income children even more at risk of falling behind. Although reopening plans for schools vary greatly by state, one thing is certain: for children facing poverty, this crisis puts the surest pathway out of poverty – a quality education – at risk.
All year long, Red Nose Day is helping to close the gap for children living in vulnerable communities here in America, and around the world. Our partners are working with governments and schools to ensure that students have the technology to access the internet safely and efficiently, delivering books and hard copies of materials as well as keeping connected by phone when students can’t access the internet, providing guidance for students to get into college, and offering a range of other supports.
The research on girls education is crystal clear: it benefits everyone. Yet, here in the U.S. and around the world, girls still disproportionately lack the opportunity to pursue their education and realize their full potential.
When we invest in empowering women and girls, communities become healthier, safer, more equitable, and more prosperous. Yet, girls are still behind.
If we don’t Mind the Gap, the divide will only grow during the pandemic. The longer girls are out of school, the larger the risk to their overall health, wellbeing and future. As students head back to school, Red Nose Day is committed to closing the education gap and ensuring that girls can grow into the leaders we so desperately need.
Investing in girls’ futures is one the smartest things we can do. Around the world, your support helps our partners address the ways the pandemic disproportionately impacts young women and girls.
For example, in Bangladesh our partner Room to Read helps secondary school-aged girls stay enrolled in school and build life skills they will need to become independent and thriving. Even before COVID-19, this work was urgent and challenging. Today, it is essential, and requires a whole new level of innovation.
Here in the U.S., your support helps Red Nose Day’s partner Girls Inc. continue to adapt their work, equipping girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers. They have moved as much of their programming online as possible and are helping girls deal with the new challenges and stress they face because of the pandemic. Your support helps get critical learning resources like tablets and computers into the hands of girls who need them most.
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