The COVID-19 pandemic has upended daily routines and altered the social fabric of communities around the world. But it hasn’t dampened the charitable spirit of Canyons District’s patrons and supporters.
Donors have generously stepped up to help students whose families have suffered financial harm as a result of the pandemic. They’ve also heeded the call to support schools in bridging the digital divide for students who don’t have a computer or WiFi at home.
“We know from surveys that 10 to 15 percent of our students have no access to a computing device or the Internet, which poses a problem when students are placed on quarantine or schools have to pivot to remote instruction,” said Canyons Education Foundation Director Denise Haycock. “On an emergency basis to keep students learning, schools have checked out computing devices and made hot spots available to families as needed. But we need a more sustainable approach to ensuring every student has the tools needed to succeed.”
The Foundation this year has set a goal of raising funds to fuel the District’s ConnectCanyons initiative to make distance learning more equitable. A recent fundraising activity, which drew more than 164 participants, 44 corporate sponsors, and more than 100 in-kind donations, raised nearly $104,000, a portion of which will go toward the ConnectCanyons campaign. The District and Foundation also have been aggressive in applying for grants to leverage private donations.
“We’ve been absolutely amazed by the generosity of our community,” Haycock said. “We were a bit worried after having to cancel and reorganize our two major fundraising events. But those businesses and individuals who have been able to give this year have done so in a big way.”