Alabama couple pays for internet so kids can learn from home

Internet provided to family in Wilcox Co.
Internet provided to family in Wilcox Co.(WSFA)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 9:29 AM CDT
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WILCOX COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A little while back, we told you about a group of students forced to do their school work crammed inside a car parked next to a school bus with internet access.

Those students no longer have to do that after a couple from Huntsville stepped in to foot the bill.

Cassandra Rudolph’s children only have the option to do virtual learning. In September, this left them crammed in a hot car relying on buses with internet to learn.

A viewer saw this this story and now pays for their internet so the students can work from home.

We followed up with the family Friday.

“In the house it’s way cooler than in the car,” said Jayla McWilliams.

McWilliams said the space allows her to focus on her schoolwork instead of being bunched up with her siblings.

“Now they sit down comfortably and focus on what they’re doing,” said Rudolph.

Reaction poured in from across the state after the story aired. People asked to buy the students headphones, pay for their internet, and offered workspaces.

Keith Matthews and his wife said they “couldn’t believe” what they saw.

“Me having children myself, I mean, I can’t imagine them being in the same room much less in the same vehicle, trying to have a beneficial virtual learning experience,” Matthews said.

Matthews and his wife now pay for the family’s internet.

“It was a no brainer,” he explained. “For me, it was it was an easy opportunity to help some children.”

The students said they feel “blessed” that someone would help them.

Rudolph did receive an internet voucher in the mail from the state. This is a program meant to help students connect to the internet from home.

Rudolph said only one internet provider was listed on the voucher and that provider said they could not connect the family.

Local education leaders provided the family with a hotspot, but Rudolph said it was spotty and could not handle five children working. Rudolph had also bought two separate hotspots which also had poor connection.

This left the family with very few options until Matthews stepped in to help.

“I really appreciate that,” Rudolph said. “My heart goes out.”

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