HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the majority of school districts in the Houston area shift to virtual learning to kick off the school year, the digital divide is becoming increasingly apparent.
A survey of the 15 largest metros in the country conducted by the Census Bureau found Houston had the highest number of families who report their children 'never' had access to a computer for educational activities.
In Houston, 7.1% of families said they never had access at all.
The Riverside metro in California was the closest with 3%.
School districts, such as Houston ISD, are ordering thousands of computers, tablets and WiFi hot spots to make sure all students are able to participate in their virtual classes.
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The district has 25,000 devices on order that they will distribute this month.
Plus, HISD announced in a board meeting Monday they have ordered another 40,000 devices that should arrive in the coming weeks.
Comp-U-Dopt, a non-profit that provides technology to underserved youth, said 50,000 students in Harris County told them they needed a device with a keyboard to be able to participate in online-only classes.
Since March, Comp-U-Dopt has given out more than 7,000 computers, according to executive director Colin Dempsey.
Additionally, the survey of 1.8 million people in the Houston metro found that 26.4% of devices and 3.1% of internet access was funded by schools in the Houston area.
Reche Jones, owner of Jones Prep and Services, provides one-on-one tutoring for students to better understand the information they are being taught in virtual learning.
The average student in the Houston metro reports spending 1.2 hours a day in live class instruction time and 3.7 hours learning on their own.
Jones, along with a group of teachers who work for her, hope to cut down on the time spent outside of the virtual classroom by providing individualized help.
Jones Prep and Services costs between $20 and $50 an hour.
The Houston Public Library is offering free tutoring for students through its Brainfuse program. A library card is required to participate, but temporary library cards are currently free.
Officials with HPL said they are also offering virtual craft and story times for younger children.