A global pandemic wasn’t an event any of the 24 schools in the Children’s Jubilee Fund network anticipated.
On March 13, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf determined that all schools in Pennsylvania should close for two weeks to mitigate the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. The order was extended at the end of the two weeks, and in mid-April, was further extended to close all schools through the end of the academic year.
Virtually overnight, Jubilee schools throughout the region were faced with the necessity of offering distance education to their students. Teachers and heads of school worked day and night to revise lesson plans and to format lessons to be compatible with online learning platforms.
But there was a problem. In order to take part in distance learning, students need computers or tablets and internet access. Many lacked those basic tools, and lacked the resources to obtain them independently. Without them, these students would be left behind because they’d miss out on the same educational opportunities as their peers.
Where they could, schools loaned computers to students, purchased computers for students, or found people willing to donate them. But there were still 71 students in nine of our schools who were without computers they could use for school. And those schools had no resources left to obtain computers.
Monitoring the situation, Jubilee decided in early April that it would fill the gap. Jubilee determined that no student should be left behind in this crisis. We purchased 71 laptops for those students, and delivered them the week of April 13. Doing so, Jubilee ensured that 100% of students in our network had access to distance learning. We thank all of our donors, who made these gifts possible.
Tim Geiger (M.Div.) is Executive Director of Children's Jubilee Fund. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Tim has lived in or around the city most of his life. His undergraduate studies done at the Community College of Philadelphia, Tim went on to earn a Master of Divinity Degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. He is ordained as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. Prior to serving at Children's Jubilee Fund, Tim worked for the Internal Revenue Service, The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and Harvest USA, where he also served as Executive Director and then President from 2012-2019. Tim lives with his wife and daughter just outside of Philadelphia.
Children's Jubilee Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1997 to provide tuition grants to Christian schools in the Philadelphia metro area that serve lower-income students. These grants are then awarded by the schools as scholarships to students who meet income and residency guidelines. Each year, Jubilee provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants that, in turn, help hundreds of students in Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, and Camden Counties achieve their God-given academic and personal potential. Children's Jubilee Fund is an entirely donor-supported organization.