She’s 10, Homeless and Eager to Learn. But She Has No Internet.
March 27, 2020
Allia Phillips was excited about picking up an iPad from her school in Harlem last week. She did not want to miss any classes and hoped to land on the fourth-grade honor roll again.
On Monday, the first day that New York City public schools began remote learning, the 10-year-old placed her iPad on a tray she set up over her pillow on a twin bed in a studio that she shares with her mother and grandmother inside a homeless shelter on the Upper West Side.
And then, Allia saw nothing.
“I went downstairs to find out that they don’t have any internet,” said Kasha Phillips-Lewis, Allia’s mother. “You’re screwing up my daughter’s education. You want to screw me up? Fine. But not my daughter’s education.”
Shuttering the vast system, which includes 1,800 schools, was a serious challenge for the city, and the large-scale, indefinite school closures are uncharted territory, altering the lives and routines of 75,000 teachers, over one million children, and well over 1 million parents.