A fourth-grader in Roswell, New Mexico, has been walking to his closed elementary school to do his schoolwork over the building’s WiFi because he didn’t have internet access at home.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, schools in the Roswell Independent School District have been conducting classes online.
Angel Endecott says her son Jonathon turns 10 next month and is a very independent child. They live near the school, and Jonathon walked to school and home last year when school was still in session.
Endecott, who works in home health, lost both of her jobs at one point because of the pandemic. Even though she’s back at work at one of her jobs, she can’t afford internet service.
Endecott said Jonathon was happy when she told him to go to the school to go online and do schoolwork.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, I need to be back on the school property, and I could be like a normal kid again,'” she said. “Him just being outside of the building gives him that, ‘Hey, I’m at school’ feeling even though he’s not around other classmates or teachers.”
Endecott said their home is just across a field from the school, so she and her husband felt safe having him spend the day there.
“The principal, the secretary, and a few teachers, they do come outside to check up on him and see if he needs anything,” Endecott said.
A teacher who works in the school district said she was heartbroken when she saw Jonathon outside the school earlier this month. She shared a photo of Jonathon with a friend, who posted it on social media after getting permission from his mom.
The post was shared widely online and someone who saw is generous enough and offered to pay for the Endecott’s internet service for a year. The woman who posted the Facebook photo has created a GoFundMe account to raise money to help other kids get internet access.
Jonathon said in a CNN report that he’s able to talk with his friends and classmates online and that being at the school building feels more like being in school.
Jonathon’s mom said he’s been excited to get up and go to school and get a little bit of a break from being with his family. She added he’d like to keep going to school even after the family gets internet service again, but the school district said he’d need to have a parent with him.