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Countless parents in East St. Louis say they are relying on minimal resources while struggling to gain internet access to help their children participate in remote learning at area schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

East St. Louis is a largely Black community where nearly 40% of residents live below the federal poverty line, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Melissa Lawson, a single mother of three who lives there while juggling multiple jobs, told the Belleville News-Democrat that she already had to make adjustments to get by before the pandemic after being severely injured in a car accident. She said some of the cutbacks included canceling internet service.

“Sometimes, we would go to a McDonald’s parking lot and use their Wi-Fi, and even with that, you only get so much with the hotspot,” Lawson noted. “Then you run into the problem of what if my laptop

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