Tippecanoe Co. school offers free, reliable internet to students in need

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) — A slow internet connection is something rural Tippecanoe County resident Debbie Stevenson and her family are no strangers to and it causes problems when her five children need to complete school assignments online.

“They have an assignment given and it has to be turned in by midnight that night,” explained Stevenson. “If your internet doesn’t work that night, then you can’t submit your assignment and there’s really no grace given.”

However, those problems are getting a temporary solution – thanks to James Cole Elementary Staff and PTO.

“Open the building up, even just for three hours, and kids can come and get their work done,” said Principal Michael Pinto.

Free and reliable internet access will be provided in the school’s library from 6-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday from Nov. 28 to Dec. 20.

Pinto said it’s a group effort that will help students and parents.

“The internet access is either not there, or many families have internet access but it’s so unreliable and slow that even downloading a YouTube video is either not possible or takes all night to do,” Pinto explained.

She said December is a busy month for final exams and projects that require Internet to complete.

The free online access will allow students to use their one-to-one devices in a safe and quiet environment.

“We’re just trying our best to figure out a way to give our students an opportunity to be the best,” added Pinto.

The target group is middle and high school-aged students who do not need adult supervision. However, parents with younger children are welcome if necessary.

Stevenson said she’s just happy to know her children will have an equal chance to succeed in school.

“I’m very excited to have something close to home that is safe, that they can all, at the same time, submit their projects and get it done reliably,” said Stevenson.

Parents interested in assisting with supervision are asked to contact Julie Cummings at j_jcummings@hotmail.com.