GRANITE CITY, Ill. – Six-year-old Zacchaeus McCline called FOX 2 Monday to share a concern. He said, “I’m not learning.”
Zacchaeus is a student at Maryville Elementary in Granite City where classes are all virtual. The first-grader does not have his own Chromebook. His mother, Heavenly McCline, said her son’s teacher is doing all she can but feels Zacchaeus is missing out on learning opportunities because of the situation.
The McClines learned on Monday Granite City Community Unit School District #9 will be expanding its Chromebook distribution to first- and second-graders at Maryville and Wilson Elementary Schools in the coming days. McCline and her son are thrilled the district will be able to distribute the computers. Federal money for supplemental supplies is being used to expand distribution, according to the district.
Zachhaeus is not alone in his frustration. We’ve also reported on the frustration felt by other students in the St. Louis area.
The grassroots parental organization Bridge 2 Hope encourages parents to join them to be involved in their children’s education and to advocate for equity.
“We started a place of advocacy to help educate them on how to advocate and then teach them how to get the things they need in those schools working correctly,” said Bridge 2 Hope Executive Director Krystal Barnett.
She said it’s often students who need the most help who fall even farther behind when district’s lack certain resources.
“You need to get in front of and be proactive about the things that are happening with your kids,” she said.
McCline is delighted her son spoke up and encourages other families to do the same.
“I raised him to know you have a voice,” she said.