by John Nolan
This story was featured on WCPO News.
The Episcopal Church has awarded a $5,000 grant to St. Barnabas that will be used to make it possible for students in Cincinnati's West End to connect with their schools for remote learning.
Many households in the low-income neighborhood do not have the ability to electronically connect with the school district, denying them the chance for remote learning at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is keeping many children out of classrooms.
St. Barnabas and the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses (Findlay Street) plan to work together to apply the grant toward making internet connections available in the West End. A focus will be improving wi-fi service at the Findlay Street center so that neighborhood students could come there to remotely connect with their teachers.
Cincinnati Bell has provided some electronic connections in the neighborhood, but advocates say that more are still needed.
The absence of internet connections in much of the low-income, Black neighborhood is denying many students any way of getting an education remotely during the pandemic.
The Episcopal Church's national leadership approved the grant application by St. Barnabas parishioner Margaret Nelsen and the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses.
The grant is provided through The Episcopal Church’s Beloved Community “Rapid-Response” grant program, which addresses the racial disparities laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic and for groups responding to racist violence and policing reform. Becoming Beloved Community is the Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice. Church leadership said it would give priority to grant proposals for "work done in long-term partnership within underserved communities."
St. Barnabas parishioner David Browe completed repairs on a kitchen range so Findlay Street can serve hot meal to students who attend school online at the center.
The grants are funded from money allocated by the Episcopal Church's General Convention in 2018 for use through the Becoming Beloved Community. View a complete list of grant recipients here: https://tinyurl.com/yx9djndr
Read more about St. Barnabas’ Outreach ministries here: https://www.st-barnabas.org/outreach