Partnering for equity in education

How do you close the “homework gap”? In part, by working together.

On Monday, June 10, Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Superintendent Dr. Carol Kelley, Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Senior Director of Technology Michael Arensdorff, and Oak Park Public Library Director David J. Seleb presented a webinar entitled “Closing the Homework Gap: Digital Equity for All Students.”

Designed for school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders, the presentation shared how District 97 and the library partnered to address digital equity for their students.

What is the homework gap?

The edWebinar website explains: “During the past two decades, efforts to provide America’s classrooms with high speed Internet access have made great progress. However, the steady increase in the use of technology tools for learning brings with it a new digital divide between students who have home Internet access and those who do not.

“This ‘homework gap,’ often exacerbates other preexisting inequalities, making it difficult for students to complete homework assignments. The lack of home Internet access also negatively impacts school-to-parent communication and makes it more difficult for parents to support their children academically. The promise of anywhere, anytime learning for all students requires that schools and communities come together to close the ‘homework gap’ and the widening disconnect that impacts parents and guardians as well.”

More ways your library partners for equity in education

Supporting student learning. See how we work with Oak Park Elementary School District 97 to support equity and opportunity in student learning. Watch the video »

Connecting mentors and youth. Starting in 2017, a “community catalyst” initiative sparked opportunities, strengthened relationships, and energized our community around empowering youth for college and career. Read the story »

Removing barriers. “The neutral space of the library can eliminate the borders between schools, businesses, and the community to provide resources to students and families.” More from the E-Team’s Frances Kraft »

Welcoming new neighbors, building community. Learn how we’re partnering with New Moms and the parks department to bring storytimes and resources out into the community. Read the story »

Learning Together. On Wednesday, January 17, more than 200 community members attended the inaugural Oak Park Code Fest, a collaborative event put together by Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park Elementary District 97 teacher librarians, and community members. See the photos »

Increasing access. On June 1, 2017, the library went fine free, eliminating overdue fines on materials for Oak Park Public Library cardholders, increasing use, access, and equity. Learn more »