Meet Jonathan Endecott, a 9-year-old from Roswell, New Mexico. Jonathan is a fourth-grader who has been walking to his closed school every single day to do his schoolwork over the building’s WiFi because he doesn’t have access to the internet at his own home. Unfortunately, these stories are all too common. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting families in so many ways it is almost impossible to quantify. Parents losing employment. Parents having to pick up a second job to make ends meet. Schools being closed down. All while trying to balance roles and responsibilities between a parent, now a teacher, in some cases a tech-wizard (juggling between learning platforms has been fun), and in a lot of cases...a learner too (I don’t know about you, but my calculus skills are a little rough around the edges).

Credit: CNN.com

Credit: CNN.com

As part of an effort to help ease the burden of these new challenges, the state of Idaho is offering funding to support the learning needs of children in Idaho. Like many families across the country, Idaho families are tasked with a lot of challenges in their children’s education because of COVID-19. Fortunately, Idaho is all about empowering families and students. Through a program that provides access to grant funds, Idaho families can now get the help they need with their student’s learning. It’s called the Strong Families, Strong Students grant program and we absolutely love this idea! This grant, funded by Idaho’s Coronavirus Relief Funds, provides access to grant dollars which can be leveraged to purchase educational goods and services that each Idaho family can decide how to use.

Enrollment just began on October 21st and will run until December 8th, 2020. Awards will be determined by economic needs and then on a first come first serve model. Here’s the great thing: ALL dollars must be allocated to families no later than December 31st, 2020 and families will have until June 30th to spend their money once it hits their digital wallet.

COVID-19 home learning

Who Can Apply For The Strong Families Strong Students Grant?

If you are a parent or guardian of an Idaho public, private, parochial student in grades K-12 and have been impacted by COVID-19 related full or partial Idaho school closures OR a homeschooled student who experienced a COVID-19 employment disruption, you can apply for an award. There has been $50 million dollars allocated for the Strong Families Strong Students grant and currently, it is estimated that 13,000 awards will be made eligible for Idaho families with students. Awards will be announced in three waves based on a families’ adjusted gross income.

Wave 1: Families with an adjusted gross income (AGI) less than or equal to $50,000.

Wave 2: Families with an adjusted gross income (AGI) less than or equal to $75,000.

Wave 3: Families with an adjusted gross income (AGI) less than or equal to $100,000.

Wave 4: All families.

What Does The COVID-19 Grant Look Like For Families?

Each family can receive up to a $1,500 credit per child or up to $3,500 credit per family. What can families do with this credit? Idaho families can purchase computers and technology, instructional materials, feeds for courses, tutoring services, and educational services, therapies through approved vendors, and yes...you can use it to pay for Internet Access! So if there is a Jonathan Endecott in your school, let them know about this great opportunity! 

COVID-19 financial relief for families

Want To Learn More About Strong Families Strong Students?

For more information on the Strong Families Strong Students initiative, visit the website: https://www.strongfamilies.idaho.gov/. Have questions about the program, check out the FAQ sheet. To immediately apply for the Strong Families Strong Students grant, apply here.

What Is Your State Doing To Offer Relief To Families?

Help us spread the word and spread the help when it comes to families needing relief from the coronavirus. TodaysMama also wants to know more about what your state and/or local community and government are doing to provide relief to families with students. Drop a comment in the thread of this post or comment on Facebook. We believe our web community can do amazing things for our local communities. In a time when coming together is paramount, we have such a great opportunity to do good. Please help us in these efforts. 

Update On Jonathan Endecott: 

His local community has raised nearly $30,000 to help families in the school district get internet access. And organizers have raised over $11,000 to help Jonathan’s family. 

Jonathan Endecott COVID-19

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