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Bridging the digital divide for students during COVID-19 pandemic

The nonprofit HEC-TV is helping the students who don't have quality internet access

ST. LOUIS — For kids right now, the classroom is their living room. Or their front porch. 

Remote learning is now the norm. But what happens if a family doesn't have access to broadband WiFi?

"Even if you have internet access, you might not have internet access which makes video friendly because your bandwidth speed is limited," explained Tim Gore.

That's where HEC-TV comes in.

HEC has been producing education and arts programming for decades.

"Our mission is promoting arts, education and culture in the St. Louis region," said Gore, who is HEC's Director of Educational Initiatives.

According to their own statistics, 22% of kids in just St. Louis city and county don't have broadband WiFi. But HEC puts their educational programs on TV: Spectrum channel 989 and AT&T channel 99.

"We actually run programming from 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, which utilizes our videos across the curriculum," said Gore.

RELATED: Junior Achievement offers virtual education resources, career guidance

And if you can, access their website and download dozens of the videos for free.

"So, we cover the arts, we cover the humanities, we cover social sciences, we cover STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and we cover career exploration," Gore explained.

Distance learning and HEC-TV. A student's lifeline when they can't get online.

"I think it's possible that we're going to learn so many excellent things that will really improve practice for the future," said Gore.

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