Source: Isla Vista Youth Projects
How do you pay attention at school via Zoom, when you have no good place to put your Chromebook?
Many children in our community have limited space in their homes to learn and are often forced to sit on the floor with their devices in their laps. For families who live in crowded conditions, having a safe and healthy study space is a luxury. The challenge of space only exacerbates the already growing learning divide between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
To address this pressing need, Isla Vista Youth Projects recently launched a fundraising campaign to purchase lap desks for students who need them. Each desk costs $40 and every donation goes directly to the purchase of a desk.
In just a few short weeks, IVYP has raised enough money to purchase desks for more than 100 students. To date, over 60% of requested desks have been distributed to students. Given the success of this campaign, IVYP is now able to expand desk distributions beyond the Goleta Valley. As need and interests grow, IVYP hopes to provide additional desks in surrounding communities like Santa Barbara and Carpinteria.
“This is very useful for my son because it will help him to focus more and have his own space. Thank you so much for thinking of the students. I truly appreciate it,” said one parent of a student who recently received a desk through the program.
After launching the fundraising campaign, IVYP set to work to get the word out to Goleta families. Families are referred to the program and then are asked to fill out a short form to assess their need. When a desk is requested, one of IVYP’s family advocates reaches out and is able to not only provide a desk, but also to assist the family with other needs. Every family that has requested a desk has identified additional needs. The most requested needs are unemployment assistance, affordable housing, childcare, clothing and health care. IVYP’s dedicated staff members have been busy not only distributing desks, but also comprehensively supporting families.
“Once we learned that this was an issue facing our students, we knew this was something we could quickly address,” said Lori Goodman, executive director of IVYP.
“It was important to us that as we provided this direct service. We also used this as an opportunity to learn about the families’ broader needs,” Goodman added. “We did not want this to be a translational interaction, but the beginning of a trusted relationship. We believe that direct services are part of a solution to heal larger social wounds. And, we believe that by working together we can advance our community to be more just, more equitable, more educated, more engaged and more resilient.”
IVYP has been overwhelmed with the support seen by the community in response to this effort. We are extremely grateful for all those who have already contributed, including a generous sponsorship from Montecito Bank and Trust’s Goleta branches. This support directly provides comfortable, healthy, and engaging workspaces for our local children.
IVYP mitigates the effects of poverty, racism and trauma by providing high-quality child care, comprehensive, culturally sensitive family support, and visionary community leadership. For more information or to make a donation visit http://www.ivyp.orghttp://www.ivyp.org.