The Acadiana Open Channel is teaming up with United Way of Acadiana and a bunch of other groups to bring more educational opportunities into the homes of Acadiana's children through their TV screens, especially for those who might not have access to this kind of content on a computer.
"When the schools started letting out it was pretty clear the kids without internet were going to have a struggle and the school system decided probably best not to leave those kids out. The digital divide is kind of separating the haves and the have-nots," says Ed Bowie, Executive Director at Acadiana Open Channel.
"You hear all the time about the digital divide, and there's about 15% of households that don't have internet but that do have a television so we want to provide educational resources to kids who won't be able to access them during this time," adds Carlee Alm-LaBar, President and CEO of United Way of Acadiana.
Aiming to bridge that digital divide, AOC and the United Way of Acadiana will air educational programming each day with local educators running the show.
They want teachers and others who could offer something of educational value to send in content to air that will enrich the lives of children staying home all day.
"We want teachers to think about - what are some of your most exciting lessons, what are the lessons that you're excited to teach every year? Film yourself doing those, and we'll make them available to people in the whole region," says Alm-LaBar
These videos can be anything from traditional teaching segments to experiments to exercises and activities kids can do from home.
"It's another way we can build sense of community during this time. When you're seeing your teacher, your principle on AOC and then you can tell your friends, 'hey watch tomorrow because my teacher is going to be on AOC,' that's something that helps educate kids and build that sense of community too," says Alm-LaBar.
"It doesn't have to be a long program, it can be short, in fact we'd be happy to run something that says, I'm Mr. So and so and I'd like to give a shout out to all my kids who are stuck at home," says Bowie.
Right now, about a half dozen teachers and the Acadiana Center for the Arts are contributors but the group wants to see many more people involved.