OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt announced a new initiative Wednesday that will connect up to 5,000 low income Oklahoma families with $1,500 grants to purchase materials for students.
The Bridge the Gap Digital Wallet initiative will allocate $8 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund to provide Oklahoma families below the federal poverty line access to purchase technology, materials or supplies, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
“As our students face disruptions caused by COVID-19, and more schools are turning to distance learning this new school year, we must ensure all students, no matter their financial situation, have the supplies necessary to access their schoolwork,” Stitt said. “Bridge the Gap puts the power in Oklahoma families’ hands to choose what materials are most necessary to make sure their students are academically successful. This could be buying new technology, accessing online curriculum, or buying books and supplies for learning at home. We’re proud to offer this program that provides parents with the flexibility they need in order to meet the needs of their individual student.”
Families of four who make less than $26,200 per year will be given Bridge the Gap grant priority, the news release states.
“Bridge the Gap’s easy and secure access to funds will be essential in providing Oklahoma students with an opportunity to eliminate financial barriers that may prevent a successful distance learning school year,” said Secretary of Human Services and of Early Childhood Initiatives Justin Brown. “By having access to these funds, lower income students and families no longer have to worry about their child falling behind on their schoolwork due to a lack of access to technological and educational resources.”
Every Kid Counts Oklahoma (EKCO), a new education-focused organization, administers Bridge the Gap and will award the grants on a first-come, first-served basis.
Families must apply online to qualify. Click here for the grant application.
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