Prague Middle School (PMS), located in Prague, Oklahoma received a $1,500 CACEASF Emergency Response Grant to address emerging school needs due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

One of the most unexpected consequences of the COVID-19 fallout has been the world’s reliance on technology as a lifeline to everyday and essential activities during these isolating times. Access to technology has become a critical bridge to “tomorrow” for all to stay employed, remain healthy, connect socially and spiritually, and to receive an education. While the popularity of using online learning platforms was already growing and online courses well-underway prior to the pandemic, “virtual” education was never mandated until now in many school districts. For numerous K-12 students in America, their platform for education changed over a matter of days and public-school administrators have had to figure out how to meet the diverse educational needs of every child in their district using technology.

Although many public schools remain open during the pandemic, like Prague Public Schools, they also offer an online learning option to teach students. This option is needed to address periods of isolation or quarantine as well as family preference for the online educational environment during the pandemic.

The necessary components for the provision of an online education include access to the Internet and a computer.  While these tools cannot replace the traditional face to face educational model or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for special education students, they are essential to delivering educational services.  The standards for which are still evolving to meet the needs of every child, but no one can deny that the crisis has not exposed more vividly that access to technology and the Internet is either completely or partially essential to receive a free and equal public education.  

For this reason, PMS was provided funding from the CACEASF to equip the school resource room with six computers to support student access to online learning. These computers are available for all students and support students enrolled in the remedial reading program who use online reading and typing programs to address their special needs to increase their competencies in reading and writing.

While the pandemic has devastated many lives, it has also presented an opportunity for public schools to innovate and improve upon their systems. The Celia Ann Card Educational Assistance Scholarship Fund is proud to support Prague Middle School’s efforts to improve access to technology for its students during this time.  

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