MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Not all students have been able to attend classes at school. And that’s created a problem for some who may not have access to the technology they need.

The most recent numbers from the Minnesota Department of Education in the Spring showed around 25,000 children in Minnesota do not have access to internet and/ or devices.

Now, some groups are acting quickly to help bridge the digital divide.

The bustling north Minneapolis Y is full of students with goals ranging from being NBA players, lawyers, police officers, inventors, singers and hairstylists.

And as we know, school is the means to an end. But these days, it’s complicated.

Glen Gunderson is the President and CEO of YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities (YGTC).

“Now with distance learning we are seeing kids fall behind more significantly because they may not have connectivity they may not have a parent or guardian who can be at home and marshal those resources be sure they’re engaged,” he said.

And that’s a big problem in a state with a big achievement gap.

So the Y went all in with support of businesses like Xcel, Securian Financial and US Bank, which are all helping to fund technology pods at 19 Twin Cities locations.

The goal is to push these pods beyond the Twin Cities – the hope is to have them in every corner of the state.

And having the the tools in the present means they are ready for the future.

“I want to be an attorney and travel the world and help a lot of people,” one fifth grader said.

The governor is also on board with making technology more accessible as he announced at the end of June that the state is working with philanthropic and business leaders to provide technology devices and internet access to families with school-aged children.

For more information on school age care locations, click here. If you’d like to donate, mark your designation for technology pods here. 

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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