A pair of Hoosier organizations has launched a philanthropic endeavor to help address the inequities in education that are highlighted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign from Crossroads Education and the STARTedUP Foundation, both based in central Indiana, aims to provide a wide variety of services for families and students in need, from high-speed internet hotspots to tutoring, to access to food.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Crossroads Chief Executive Officer Kevin Berkopes says the struggles many families are seeing aren’t exclusive to the pandemic.
“What we know that’s happening right now is actually always happening but we think that this time is a time, culturally, where we’ve had to shift our complete way of operating as a community and I think that right now is the time that we can shine the spotlight directly on the gross inequities that have always been present in low-resource communities,” said Berkopes. “But at this time, we’re talking about the distance between the have and have nots at a historic level.”
The partners say the goal of the campaign is to make sure that every family has access food and healthcare services, access to high-speed internet hotspots through a partnership with Sprint and other mobile carriers, devices such as Chromebooks to help low-income and at-risk families get access to e-learning, and tutoring services for the current academic year, this summer and the future.
STARTedUP Foundation President Don Wettrick says as organizations throughout the state work to help those in need during the pandemic, the situation creates an environment conducive to innovation.
“We think that this time, a lot of people in the private sector and the entrepreneurial sector and government, this is a time where we can say, ‘Okay we have a problem but this an awesome opportunity to innovate our way to providing quality education’ and not just resting on the, ‘Well isn’t too bad that things are terrible out there?’ No, we can adapt and make things happen.”
You can learn more about the campaign, including how to donate, by clicking here.