Support for children impacted by COVID-19

09/30/2020

Academic Success Advocates announced the launch of its COVID (Collaborative Outreach Via Individual Donations) Support Project, an outreach effort to aid children with disabilities and disadvantaged families negatively impacted by COVID-19. The organization's executive director, Dr. Janet Wynn, commented, "The effects of COVID-19 on the elderly and workforce have been widely publicized, but the effects on children have drawn little attention, leaving our kids to suffer in silence." 

Wynn described the need for the project pointing to existing disparities in wealth and educational opportunities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. "Students with disabilities who need special educational or health services and those from low-income families who lack basic tools for learning at home are particularly vulnerable" explained Wynn. "Many of our children have become silent victims of COVID-19, and we want to do something about that."

The project aims to assess needs and bridge gaps between schools, families, and the community. Wynn pointed to examples of families that need internet access to support online learning and children with disabilities who need physical therapy or related health services that were disrupted by the pandemic. "We are developing a collaborative network of local agencies that will join us in providing services and resources that support special needs students and disadvantaged families of our community" stated Wynn.

The COVID Support Project is part of A Community Thrives, a nation-wide community-building initiative sponsored by the USA Today Network. Academic Success Advocates is competing to earn a grant of up to $100,000 from the Gannett Foundation to help fund the project and expand its reach across the Central Florida community. The organization must first raise $3,000 as part of a crowd-funding effort to be eligible to compete for the grant. To date, they have raised approximately half. You can help support the project with your donation at: https://acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/organization/Academic-Success-Advocates. The deadline for qualifying donations is October 16, 2020.