Do you think kids should go to school in a Taco Bell Parking Lot?

Neither do we.

While Bel Air Internet has been on a mission to help bridge the digital divide for many years, in 2020 the issue has taken even more crucial importance as hundreds of thousands of Southern California children were forced into distance learning due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

During these past eight months, BAI has increased our presence across Los Angeles and Orange County to continue providing Internet (and thus, educational access) to children and families in underserved communities and shelters. Here are some of the new learning centers and shelters we have begun donating our Internet to in the past six months:

HomeAid Orange County Family Care Center:

Operated by Mercy House, the HomeAid Orange County Care Center is an emergency shelter that serves families with minor children. Bel Air Internet donates high-speed Internet to this center to provide educational access to the children staying there for both school and enrichment activities.

Orange County Rescue Mission Village of Hope:

This center operates as a transitional housing facility for homeless men, women and children. Partnering with School on Wheels who provide virtual tutoring, Bel Air Internet donates high-speed Internet to the children living at the facility.

“Orange County Rescue Mission is one of our larger sites with a lot of students and families in need of reliable and high-speed connectivity, especially during this crisis,” says Ian Chan, Program Administrator for School on Wheels. “Our team is looking forward to connecting every child with our online tutoring and digital learning and literacy programs to ensure that our students keep up with their learning and don’t fall further behind.”

Motorcycle Riders for Homeless Parolees:

This Los Angeles facility provides temporary shelter services for families with children 18 or younger who are homeless. They are dedicated to ensuring children and families experiencing homelessness get both a safe environment and receive family-focused services, including Internet for educational access from Bel Air Internet and tutoring and academic programming by School on Wheels.

South Park Recreational Center:

Bel Air Internet has been delivering free Internet to the community center, gym and auditorium at the South Park Recreational Center since last year for children to utilize for various after-school homework programs. However, with the advent of the pandemic and issues with being indoors, we extend our Wi-Fi coverage to the entirety of the park so that children in the neighborhood can bring their devices and utilize the Free Wi-Fi to engage in distance learning and complete assignments.

While we eagerly await the day that Southern California children can once again be in school every day, we know that the mission to bridge the digital divide will continue beyond then until all children have access to equal educational opportunities.

If you’d like to see what other centers we currently deliver free high-speed Internet to, as well as more details about our mission to bridge the divide, click here.