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ComKids is Helping to Empower Students by Bridging Learning and Digital Gaps

ComKids is Helping to Empower Students by Bridging Learning and Digital Gaps

Internet and computer access are essential for student learning not only in the classroom but at home as well. Yet for many low to moderate income families, these tools have become a luxury they can’t afford. Currently, over a million households in Canada don’t have adequate internet service or computers.

ComKids is an Ontario based charitable organization that is committed to bridging the education gaps. This nomination based program provides enrolled students with laptops, internet access if needed, and digital literacy workshops so students have the tools and knowledge they need to empower themselves and increase their chances of success.

How the Program Works

National and community education partners in underserved communities support ComKids in the selection of students for the program. All the nominated students go through a screening process before ComKids staff choose the final participants. Once a student is selected for the program, they are given a laptop.

While in the program, each student is mentored until the end of grade 12 and expected to meet certain criteria and submission deadlines. They must attend five lunchtime Master Class sessions that cover a variety of topics including how to send online applications to schools, employers, bursaries and grants, and write emails, how to protect themselves from scams and hackers, and community citizenship. Students also have to submit a creative assignment done on their laptop before the end of their first year with the program.

Established in 1998, ComKids has helped over 10,000 students in grade school and as they expand into high school. The program is more than just giving students a laptop. By closing the education gap, ComKids empowers students and helps build their confidence. It nurtures their creativity and improves many essential skills like communication and problem solving.

Tina D has first hand knowledge of how important and beneficial the ComKids program is. Raised by a single parent, Tina was nominated for the program by her school when she was 12 years old. The laptop she received not only helped her with her schooling, it also helped her mom, who was a nursing student at the time.

Having adequate internet and technology at home rather than an old dial up system helped her feel like she was equal to her peers. It also gave her more confidence and showed her that she had more potential than she thought.

If she hadn’t been in the program, she believes she would have still followed her mom’s footprints and become a nurse, but Tina knows that without ComKids, her secondary and post secondary education would have been a lot more difficult and stressful because she faced many challenges and hurdles when she didn’t have the laptop and internet access she received from ComKids.

She believes that kids who don’t have access to common luxuries are more resilient and learn to find other ways to achieve their goals. She wants today’s students to know they shouldn’t give up or be afraid to ask for help. They should be ambitious and always reach for their dreams.

She also advises educators to be culturally sensitive and consider each student’s ethnicity, culture, and family size when offering them resources. It’s important to teach students how to use the internet and a laptop safely so they can navigate through their schooling and life.

Now a travel nurse, Tina is grateful for being one of the chosen students and for the opportunities it gave her. She found the Master Class sessions to be lifechanging and the information still relevant and useful. She volunteers and attends ComKids fundraisers when she has time.