The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the way we live our lives. While the situation has been tough for everyone, it’s especially difficult for families who have been struggling even before the crisis started.
Nine-year-old Jonathon Endecott, a fourth-grader at Roswell Independent School District at Roswell, New Mexico, has been attending classes online because of COVID-19. However, they didn’t have internet access at home, so the boy stays outside his school’s building every day to use the WiFi there.
Angel, Jonathon’s mom, describes her son as a very independent child. Their house is just across a field from the school, so Jonathon would always walk to school and home last year when school was ongoing.
Like most people, Angel lost both of her jobs at the same time because of the pandemic. She’s been able to get the other one back, but the income she was earning from it still wasn’t enough to afford internet service.
However, Jonathon didn’t seem to mind when she told him that he could go to the school and use its WiFi for his classes.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, I need to be back on the school property, and I could be like a normal kid again,'” Angel told CNN. “Him just being outside of the building gives him that, ‘Hey, I’m at school’ feeling even though he’s not around other classmates or teachers.”
Since they lived nearby, she and her husband felt comfortable with Jonathon spending the day there. Besides, the principal, the secretary, and a few teachers come outside to check up on him from time to time to see if he needs anything.
Earlier this month, a teacher who works in the school district saw Jonathon outside the school building with his laptop. She was heartbroken upon seeing him lying on the ground. So, she took a photo of the boy and shared it on Facebook after getting approval from his mom.
“This young boy has no internet at his home. He has been getting up and walking to school every day to connect to the school WiFi from outside the school. He sits there every day from 8:00-2:45,” Sabrina Talbott Harbour wrote in the caption.
The post gained massive attention online, and someone who saw it offered to pay for the Endecott family’s wifi internet service for a year.
The woman who posted the Facebook photo has also created a GoFundMe page to raise money for other kids whose families also can’t afford internet service.
Jonathon said he’s able to communicate with his friends and classmates online and that being on the school building—even just outside of it—makes him feel like he’s really in school. His favorite subject is science.
Angel says the boy would like to keep going to school even after they get internet service, but the school district said he’d need to have a parent with him.
Jonathon’s mother has also created a GoFundMe page to ask for help for their other expenses.
On the fundraising page, Angel said they “have always lived paycheck to paycheck.” She also said that her husband had been diagnosed with diabetes, which has impacted their everyday life.
“I got 2 jobs to cover the loss of income. When covid hit. At first it didn’t effect my employment. About 2 months ago that changed. I lost my weekly paying job,” she wrote.
A week after that, things took a turn for the worse when their toilet clogged up after her 4-year-old flushed a cologne bottle down it. They bought a new one, and that installation started a series of repairs that needed to be done in their entire bathroom.
The fundraising campaigns for Roswell students and the Endecott family have exceeded their target amounts, which only proves that great things can happen when a community comes together for a common cause!
Share this story to help Roswell students and the Endecott family raise more funds.