Back to school: How you can support students and teachers during the pandemic

An empty classroom awaits the return of students in Glendale, California.

(CNN)Now more than ever, teachers across the country are stretched thin.

After a year of online or hybrid learning, educators continue to juggle a variety of roles -- including providing tech support to some students -- all while trying to keep safe from coronavirus.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the screen, some students and their families have struggled to keep up. The pandemic's economic fallout devastated vulnerable families, making at-home learning even more challenging.
      Fortunately, there are organizations helping teachers, students and their families during the pandemic.
        You can donate to any or all charities mentioned in this article by clicking the button below or by going here.

          Bridging the digital divide

          A study by Common Sense Media and the Boston Consulting Group reports 16 million children in the US lack internet access or laptops for virtual learning.
          In a recent CNN opinion article, Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP, and Geoffrey Starks, the commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, argued that internet access is a modern necessity.
          "Full participation in 21st century society requires everyone to have a reliable broadband connection to access work, healthcare, education and government resources," they wrote.
          According to a poll from the National Parents Union, more than 70% of parents reported their child as enrolled in either part-time or full remote online learning.
          The Lifeline program of the FCC allows for eligible subscribers who identify as low-income to qualify for a monthly discount of $9.25. Monthly discounts of up to $34.25 are available to qualifying members on tribal lands. The FCC says discounted offers are available to qualifying subscribers in every state, commonwealth, territory and on tribal land.
          Allconnect provides resources to locate "the best cheap internet" near one's home. For low-income families, the organization provides a guide to find "government assistance, income-based and provider-specific programs." On its website, Allconnect has a resource list of major internet providers offering discounted internet services. For pricing details, click here.
          Similarly, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance offers a list of current providers with discounted rates for eligible families. Listed offers are less than $20 a month with no installation fees.
          Through its ConnectAll initiative, InterConnection provides families in need of internet-enabled devices with opportunities to buy technology at a discount. InterConnection also offers free shipping for all of its computers, excluding Hawaii and Alaska.
          Comp-U-Dopt places technology into the hands of students in underfunded communities. The organization says a $275 donation will pay for one student's computer.
          Comp-U-Dopt has programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Washington, DC and several Texas cities (Corpus Christie, Dallas, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, San Antonio and Midland).
          In a 2018 survery from, 96% of teachers reported having to purchase classroom supplies for their students.
          Contributions to Digital Wish provide mobile hotspots to make education accessible everywhere. The organization is on a mission to connect one million students to mobile wifi. Digital Wish accepts technology hardware donations which get "responsibly recycled" with proceeds going toward the purchase of hotspots.

          Support for teachers

          In a recent survey conducted by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, over half of the sampled teachers reported declining feelings of success during the epidemic and having to teach remotely. For decades, teachers routinely made sacrifices in their already demanding careers. According to a 2018 survey from, 96% of teachers reported having to purchase classroom supplies for their students.
          To champion teachers and support their efforts, consider donating to the organizations below:
          • has launched a Covid-19 Relief Fund for teachers and students. Donations will help pay for hotspots and Chromebooks for students, PPE, and necessary supplies requested by teachers. AdoptAClassroom also enables donors to fund individual teachers and schools. To find a school or a teacher to support click here:
          • DonorsChoose offers a simplified way for donors to find and fund campaign projects created by teachers across the US. Campaigns include a range of education issues from literacy to emotional support. The organization strives to make sure every student in "every community has the tools and experiences they need for a great education." To search for teacher campaigns to support, click here.
          In addition to cash, Kids in Need Foundation accepts donated