According to Common Sense Media, 726,000 students and 18,000 teachers lack adequate broadband access in New York State. Not surprisingly, the problem is particularly acute among low-income communities of color. 

So how to close that gap?

The folks at New York State Association for Affordable Housing realized that many affordable housing communities in the state have common rooms with Wi-Fi as well as seating for at least 10 students. What they lacked was a monitor to enforce social distancing and disinfect the room after each class. That realization was how Community Classrooms was born. It’s a pilot program that addresses the digital divide by hiring these monitors for affordable housing communities.  

Currently, there are 10 communities that are part of the pilot, including the Ezra Prentice Homes in Albany. If it works, the program will be expanded.

President & CEO of NYSAFAH Jolie Milstein discussed the pilot program with Capital Tonight host Susan Arbetter.