(As of 7-24-2020)

Chip and Sally Akridge
Tom Alspach
Denise Bode
Richard Bodorff
William and Posey Boicourt
Bill Boyd
William Brashares
Pamela Bright
Kristen Britcher
Rich and Sandy Brusca
Charles T. Capute, LLC
Kathleen Case
Ed and Laura Cassidy
Pamela Clay
Louis Codispoti
Simon and Marcelle Cooper
Roy and Dael Cowdrey
Glenn and Jo Anne Crowder
George Dappert and Judy Wixted 
Sara Jane Davidson
Annie Decker
Jen DeGroat
Constance Del Nero
Denis Del Pino
Tom and Anne DeMarco
John and Susan Devlin
Dr. Computer
Roy Droege
Blaine and Nance DuPont
Michaela and Gerry Early
Easton High Alumni Association
Linda Fair
Linda Farwell
Anna Fichtner
David and Gwen Fike
Karen Filbert
Holly Fine

Beau Firth
Casey Firth
Doug and Rebecca Firth
Michael Firth
Susie Firth
Mike and Karen Fisher
Sara Fitzroy
Merrille Ford
Nick Fox
Lynn Freeburger
Howard and Liz Freedlander
Craig Fuller
Amy Gardner
General Roofing/The Gardners
Albert Gipe
Jonathan and Dorothy Goldweitz
Carol Gonzalez
Granville Fund
Blair Greenbaum
Kelly Griffith
Heather Hall
George Hamilton
Carolyn Harrison
Lauren Harton
Terrell Hebert
Jeannie Hechmer
Ed and Laura Heikes
Jean Hemphill
Lindsey Hill
Tom and Cathy Hill
Jeremy Hillyard
Juanita Hopkins
Jeffrey Horstman
Lucie Hughes
Kristin Junkin
Tim Kagan
Jane Kasper
Michael Keene
Chris and Sarah Koch
Evan and Annie Kruger
Matthew LaMotte

Lane Engineering, LLC
Angela Laughman
Scott LeCates
Richard Marks and Amy Haines  
Gerson Martinez
Rick and Betsy Mason
Fay Mauro
Cathy McCoy
Jay and Karen McLaughlin
Gretchen Messick
Kathie Middleton
Tim and Amy Miller
Herbert and Patrice Miller
Meg and Tim Moran
Cristy Morrell
Jo Ann Murray
Cecilia Nobel
Elizabeth North
Jerry and Tot O'Mara
Orion Safety Products
Cindy Palinkas
Cheryl Palumbo
Paris Foods
Leslie Passano
Courtney Pastrick
Robin Patrick
Kay Perkins
Jamie Pierson
Jon Powers
R.W. Baird
Penelope Rayzi
James Reed
Peggy Rennels
William and Elspeth Ritchie
Jim and Margy Robfogel
Diane Rohman
Gail Romain
Susan Russell
Ann Ryan
Angela Rieck

Heinrich and Lelde Schmitz
Suzanne Schneider
Sheila Scott
Tom and Alexa Seip
Earl and Susan Segal
Eunice Shearer
Shore United Bank
David Short
Karen Singleton
Al and Eleanor Smith
Holly Smith
Eva Smorzaniuk
Chris Spurry
Jennifer Stanley
Debbie Starkey
Carin Starr
Jean Startt
Vanessa Sullivan
William Thomas
Bill Thompson
Nanny Trippe
David Valliant
Bobby and Mary Van Fossan
Karen VanTrieste
Lisa Wachter
Veronica Wainright
Myron Walker
J. Christopher Walsh
Dan Watson and Brenda Stone
Phillip Webster
Mary Wheeler
Curry Wilford
Elizabeth Williams
Kristyn Williams
Steve and Mary Wilson
Harvey and Louisa Zendt
Gregory Zinga
Elizabeth Zucker 


dd-4.pngThe Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation is seeking financial contributions to help close the “Digital Divide” that has impacted student access to learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to raise $60,000 through the “Digital Divide Campaign.”

Established in 2016, the Education Foundation’s mission is “to engage the community in supporting excellence in public education and provide resources to enhance the teaching and learning experience for ALL.” When schools closed due to COVID-19, school districts were directed to provide “Continuity of Learning” using digital devices and communications. While virtual learning is not new to TCPS, the need to quickly transition ALL students and staff exclusively to this model presented significant challenges, and put some students at greater risk of being unable to succeed. 

“As an educator in the district, I have experienced this technological divide impacting my partnership with families for some time,” explains Lindsey Higginbottom, Assistant Principal, Easton Elementary School and member of the Education Foundation Board.  “Having internet access is something many of us take for granted.  Not having the internet obviously makes learning from home during this time a challenge, but it has also been a challenge for our families to simply connect.” 

“Families connected have been fortunate to access additional online resources for their child to practice at home,” Mrs. Higginbottom added. “A student in my class who was absent due to illness could easily hop on one of our frequently used platforms to keep up with their schooling before returning.  Families have had direct access through web pages and email to connect with teachers beyond the school day and even monitor their child's grades long before the quarterly report card was sent home.” 

TCPS provides devices for every student in grades K-12.  All students in grades 6-12 took their district-issued laptops home with them when schools closed on March 13, and iPads were distributed to students in grades K-5 the following week. Students who did not have reliable internet access received packets of school work to complete each week through the end of the school year. The“Digital Divide” describes the lack of educational equity for students who could not access on-line teaching platforms or engage with their teachers virtually.  As a result, the educational experience of these students suffered.

The challenge is two-fold:

  • With 49% of TCPS students qualifying for Free and Reduced Meals, many families are unable to afford internet service.  
  • Also, internet service is either unreliable or unavailable in some parts of Talbot County where students and staff live.  

Talbot Family Network facilitated a grant that enabled TCPS to purchase 100 “hot spots” to distribute to students and staff and provide internet access for three months.  However funding is not readily available in the approved FY2020-2021 budget to cover the ongoing cost for connection, and the need exceeds the number of hot spots available.

TCPS has determined that there are at least 300 households in which students’ families are unable to afford or obtain reliable internet service. The school district is collaborating with Easton Utilities to develop discounted programs for families in their service territory, and hopes to form similar partnerships with internet providers who service the outlying areas in the county.   As the estimated cost for the discounted programs is $200 per family per year, the Education Foundation set a $60,000 goal for the campaign ($200 x 300 families).

“As we develop various scenarios for the start of school for the 2020-2021 school year, students will continue to need technology and internet access.  We cannot allow the digital divide to widen the achievement gap for our students,” explained Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of Schools. “The Digital Divide Campaign will help provide internet access for families in need and help us level the playing field with equitable access to a quality education.”

“As one of the teacher representatives on the advisory board, I have seen how the technology inequities like access to the internet have truly impeded student learning and progress particularly during the school closure,” said Jeremy Hillyard, Easton High Spanish Teacher and Foundation Board member. “While some students were receiving paper copies of work during the closure, this was extremely expensive and was a weekly recurring cost for the school system.” 

“Optimistically, the school closure this spring has made us aware of technology inequities such as these,” Mr. Hillyard added. “If we continue this way in the new school year the problem will only exacerbate itself. Let us use this time, our power, and our financial resources to make this change for the TCPS students. They, their education, and their futures deserve it.” 

Connection will provide students equitable access to learning in these unforeseen times.  It will also provide opportunities to enrich, explore, research, connect, and monitor, all of which are important contributions to a partnership in building a child's success.  If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the TCPS Education Foundation Digital Divide Campaign, go to the Education Foundation website: or contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at 410-822-0330, ext. 102.