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RANTOUL — Several local churches are offering free internet to students who don’t have access to it for their remote studies during the pandemic.

Rantoul Community Church and Crossroads of Life Community Church, which share a building at 310 Borman Drive, are offering a Wi-Fi station for Rantoul students. American Lutheran Church, 500 Church Drive, will also make its building available.

Rantoul Community and Crossroads of Life Community said they are making Wi-Fi available “for students who are in need of reliable internet to do their online learning.”

Until Christmas break, the building will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

Students are asked to bring a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Masks are required, and temperature checks will be taken at the door.

There will be two adults on site to supervise.Questions may be directed to Chasity Johnson at 815-764-5476.

Nikki Foss of American Lutheran said the church board agreed Tuesday to allow the building to be made available for online learning after the first of the new year. She said the board agreed to begin making the service available then because classes won’t be in session after Friday due to the Christmas break.

Beginning Jan. 5, the church will be available from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, probably in the youth hall. Students should use the north door. Foss said all details have not yet been ironed out.

Adults will be present, and masks and social distancing will be required.

Rantoul City Schools Superintendent Michelle Ramage said at least one other church, which did not want to be identified, will also make its internet services available to students.

RCS has provided hotspots to students whose homes are not equipped with internet, but in some cases “a small handful of houses” of students do not have good internet “due to infrastructure or location,” Ramage said.

“I think the churches want to provide a safe place for students to receive some assistance from adults during the day,” she said. “I feel it is a great need, although there has not been a great turnout yet. Perhaps after the word continues to spread about this service,” turnout will improve.

“For students who have parents working during the day, getting assistance and completing their work during the day is helpful.”

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