Caravana To Spread Word Of Low-Cost Internet Parades Through Clark-Fulton
The loud music from a Clark-Fulton caravana got Marissa Sortoresi dancing – despite any negative opinions from her son.
"My son didn't like it too much. He was a little embarrassed," Sortoresi said.
A caravana is a parade of cars with music and loudspeakers. It’s a common tradition in many Latinx communities. And this caravana did exactly what it was meant to do: It got people’s attention.
Instead of knocking on doors, something that isn’t advised during the pandemic, advocates used the caravana to spread the message that Clark-Fulton residents are now eligible for low-cost, or even free high-speed internet service.
It’s an initiative by DigitalC, a local non-profit dedicated to ‘bridging the digital divide’ by improving high-speed internet access for Clevelanders, including those in low-income neighborhoods.
"It's good to know that that's being offered, at least to some homes and families that can't afford it. Especially with what's going on with the coronavirus and everything and the school's shutting down," Sartoresi said. "I think it will be good for the kids to stay in touch with the school."
Education is a big part of the DigitalC initiative. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is among the many Northeast Ohio school districts starting the academic year remotely making internet access more important than ever.
DigitalC partnered with CMSD and MetroHealth on the affordable internet option, with a monthly cost under $10 for Clark-Fulton residents. It's free for families with a CMSD student in the house.
Maria Pineda is a lifelong Clark-Fulton resident and a community organizer for the Young Latino Network – one of the many organizations that helped spread the word of affordable internet with Thursday's caravana.
“This was a great day. Great impact and a lot of smiling faces,” Pineda said. “It's for the betterment of not only our generation, but for the future generations to come in the neighborhood.”