Jonathan Endecott wanted to be a normal kid again — to get back to class and his friends. But the 9-year-old New Mexico boy didn’t know quite how because of the darned coronavirus.
His school in Roswell is closed and switched to remote learning, but his mother, Angel Endecott, couldn’t afford the internet bill after she lost both of her jobs.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, I need to be back on the school property, and I could be like a normal kid again,” Endecott told CNN.
So, dear ol’ Mom suggested her son get a move on — walk to his school building and connect with the Wi-Fi there.
Endecott didn’t have any qualms about the jaunt because Jonathan had walked the few blocks every day last year. He sat — sometimes he lied down — outside the front door.
“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,” she told CNN.
Grown-ups inside the building checked up on Jonathan — the principal, the secretary — but that wasn’t enough for educator Sabrina Talbott Harbour.
Seeing the boy both broke her heart and outraged her. She shared a picture of him online.
“This young boy has no internet at his home,” Harbour wrote. “He has been getting up and walking to school every day to connect to the school Wi-Fi from outside the school. He sits there every day from 8:00-2:45.
She went on: “This isn’t OK. The kids will be better off in school. The kids are suffering socially, academically, mentally and physically.”
Harbour’s photo brought an outpouring from the community.
“We have always lived paycheck to paycheck. With God’s help we have always managed to get just enough to live with what we had to pay for. Then covid hit.”
Someone paid the family’s internet bill for a year and Endecott is raising funds on GoFundMe to help her pay a host of other expenses, including plumbing repairs and new flooring.
And now, with no worries about internet access, Jonathan is delving into his favorite subject — science — and chatting away with his friends online.
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