CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Most of us take for granted that we have computers and internet access at home.

But that’s not the case for a lot of local students.

It is the last few minutes before the last bell and the students at Ashley Park PreK – 8 are going old school.

The 4th and 5th graders can’t get enough of the books they’re reading, but Blake Harrison is more focused on the new school – his mini-laptop.

He’s one of 2,000 CMS kids that were given laptops, but he has one problem, even on the days when he’s allowed to bring it home.

“But the majority of our students don’t have Wi-Fi at home, so they take these home but they can’t do all the assignments we need them to do,” says teacher Emily Jukich.

Annabelle Suddreth is the director of A Child’s Place, working with the 5,000 homeless kids in Mecklenburg County. She had a light bulb moment when watching her own son use the internet to do his homework.

“It really got me thinking. What happens to our homeless children that don’t have access to computers and internet?”

So she’s convinced the CMS superintendent and Charlotte’s mayor to do some homework to figure out how to fix what Suddreth calls the Wi-Fi desert.

“Our goal is to find ways to get these kids connected to the internet.”

Not only the 5,000 homeless kids, but the estimated 50,000 in CMS schools spread out in neighborhoods across the county.

And she says the DNC is proof it can happen.

“I watched all the hot spots go up during the DNC. I thought, you know, if we can do this for folks visiting one week, certainly we can do it for our neediest children.”

The assignment: get old school and new school to every school kid.

If you’d like more information on the upcoming meeting to kick things off, find more here.

From WCNC | January 15, 2014 | by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

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