This nomination comes from Michael Kotar. “Alena's work shows her initiative to help students during the pandemic,” he wrote. “[The work] goes further to help explain the situation schools in all the rural areas of California seem to be facing.”
Kotar included in his submission that Alena was featured in an article titled “Closing California's Digital Divide: One Rural Teacher’s Fight to Get Her Students Connected,” which we highly recommend giving a look.
"Alena's story with a good explanation of internet access in rural areas is covered in this KQED article," Kotar told IAART. We’ve included an excerpt below.
“Third grade teacher Alena Anberg cruised down Highway 99 in her Ford F-150, past acres of almond orchards that split the terrain just outside her hometown of Arbuckle in Colusa County. She grew up in this town of 3,000 and knows the back roads well, which helped as she made several stops to deliver iPads, laptops and old smart phones with SIM cards installed to turn them into Wi-Fi hot spots.
In the days shortly after the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools, this was Anberg’s daily routine: helping students connect to their teachers online, by any means necessary.
Waiting outside his trailer home for the delivery was third grader Antonio Campos and his mom. He smiled shyly when Anberg walked up. The family had Wi-Fi thanks to the hot spot Anberg set them up with earlier, but they didn't know how to use the Chromebook. Anberg had returned to help.”
Continue reading on KQED’s website:
August 31, 2021
Retiring teacher reflects on 33 years of rural education
December 28, 2020
Connecting Across the Cultures