AT&T and nonprofit Connected Nation are putting connectivity solutions vital to education into the hands of those who need it most.
Four schools in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including two in Chester County and one each in Delaware and Montgomery Counties, received nearly 800 free hotspots as well as free internet connectivity. They are part of more than 100 organizations and school districts that are benefiting from a $10 million commitment first announced last year to provide free internet subscriptions and wireless hotspots to 35,000 vulnerable students across the country.1
The schools in Pennsylvania are:
An estimated 17 million K-12 students nationwide currently lack access to the connectivity and devices required for successful online learning. While this homework gap is not new, the pandemic has heightened the challenges -- most acutely in rural and under-resourced neighborhoods, where the effects disproportionately impact 1 in 3 students of color, as well as students with disabilities, and roughly 10 percent of all public-school teachers.
Whether students are learning remotely or in the classroom, having access to affordable high-speed internet and devices is a non-negotiable for successful learning outcomes.
"By helping to expand connectivity for the students, we can play a role in narrowing the homework gap and helping address inequities associated with virtual learning.”David Kerr — President, AT&T Pennsylvania
David Kerr, president, AT&T Pennsylvania:
“These schools serve some of the most at-risk students in Southeastern Pennsylvania. By helping to expand connectivity for the students, we can play a role in narrowing the homework gap and helping address inequities associated with virtual learning.”
Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation
“What makes this program so critical is that it seeks to help students who have been disproportionately disconnected from formal learning opportunities due to COVID-19. The investment being made through the AT&T K-12 homework gap program will not only allow these kids to fully participate in remote learning now, but also to catch up on learning lost during the pandemic. We must all work together to minimize and mitigate the impact that the pandemic has had on our must vulnerable youth.”
Joseph Lynch, Vice President of Development and Marketing, Valley Youth House:
"Valley Youth House has been providing housing and educational resources for at-risk youth across Southeastern Pennsylvania since 2005. Valley Youth House is excited to partner with AT&T to address the lack of connectivity in underserved populations to ensure every young person can achieve their desired future."
Maria Kreiter, Executive Director, Fairwold Academy at PHMC:
“Fairwold Academy at PHMC is grateful to AT&T for prioritizing the virtual connection and learning opportunities for students in our region. “The sensitivity brought to this initiative and the need to stay engaged is more important than ever for our students who face a wide range of emotional, behavioral and intellectual challenges.”
Charles McLister, Elwyn CEO:
"Elwyn is honored to be the recipient of this meaningful award from AT&T, which will allow our students at the Davidson School to stay connected during these ever-changing times. This partnership will help to ensure successful learning outcomes for our students."
Dr. Jason Kotch, Director of Technology, Avon Grove School District
"Avon Grove School District partnered with AT&T during the 2020-2021 school year while students were attending our Online Academy, engaging through video conferencing, and utilizing our learning management system. We are excited to add Connected Nation to this partnership and to continue supporting families in our community who do not have access to broadband internet in their homes. This will be a positive impact that will greatly benefit our students as they grow into future-ready learners."
In addition to contributions to organizations like those in Southeastern Pennsylvania, AT&T is expanding wireless affordability and flexibility for all schools in its service with unlimited wireless data plans that include content filtering services to support online safety protocols.
1 Selected recipients are required to agree to certain terms before receiving Internet subscriptions and wireless hotspots.