Program provides mentors to local students to close equity in education gap

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The Instagram video posted by Kate Deiter-Maredei to promote her Project for Equitable Access to Remote Learning, or PEARL, makes you smile. It shows her and her youngest daughter, explaining the importance of helping students do their best as coronavirus concerns drive everyone online for school.

She's driven by the desire to provide the kind of help that others pay for, at no charge, to students who need it.

"What my family and many other families in Wake County are doing is hiring private instructors to help guide our children through virtual learning and make sure they get the best benefit," she said. "As a parent in Wake County, I want all kids to have that opportunity so that we're not having an increase in the equity in education gap."

PEARL is designed to link college students and retired teachers as mentors to make sure remote learning's benefiting students at Southeast Raleigh High. She's raising money now to pay those mentors. Backing PEARL are the NAACP and Wake Ed Partnership.


"There are gaps where folks who don't have access to a laptop, don't have access to IT technology. And they don't necessarily have access to that extra resource that Kate and her organization are putting together," said Gerald Givens of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP.

Keith Poston said Wake Ed Partnership is on board with PEARL, "To help parents, who are trying to take care of their kids at home, to help students, to help teachers in our public schools, we're all gonna benefit if we pull together."

They have a rapidly approaching deadline, said Kate Deiter-Maradei: "We are trying to raise $30,000 by Monday, August 24th. What we're hoping is there'll be some businesses, some community partners. All we need is six businesses to say, 'We'll give you $5,000 to get this off the ground, and help these kids get the resources they need.'"

She's very grateful for donations already received from the Whitley Law Firm and others, including much smaller amounts since every dollar counts toward that goal.

This link takes you to the site where you can donate. We'll let you know if PEARL meets its fundraising goal by Monday.
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