OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Oct. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Sprint (NYSE: S) and the 1Million Project Foundation announced today that Shelby County Public Schools will receive a grant valued at more than $160,000 to connect 160 high school students who don’t already have access to the internet at home. The district will receive an in-kind donation to give each eligible student a free mobile hotspot and 10GB of high-speed wireless data access per month.
The 1Million Project Foundation launched in August 2017 with a mission to help one million high school students achieve their full potential by ensuring they have the digital tools and connectivity they need to succeed in school. During the past two school years, the initiative has connected a total of 226,000 students total at over 1,900 high schools in 33 states with internet access and devices. The foundation expects more than 70 new school districts and more than 100,000 high school students nationwide to join the initiative in its third year.
“Shelby County is the first district in the State of Kentucky to join the 1Million Project, and we are looking forward to making an impact this school year and in the future,” said Doug Michelman, president of the 1Million Project Foundation. “Teachers today are using video games, apps and social media to connect with and teach students. And, motivated students want to explore areas that interest them on their own time. None of this is possible without reliable, consistent internet access at home. Students whose families cannot afford internet connectivity are at a severe disadvantage. With the support of Sprint, we are working hard to make a meaningful impact in eligible students’ lives by providing both a device and connectivity to help level the playing field.”
Right here in the U.S., there are more than five million families with school-aged kids who do not have home internet access.1 Unfortunately, this means that millions of students lack the devices and connectivity needed to have an equal shot at success.
“We are excited for this opportunity for our students. As a 1:1 district, our students living in rural areas without internet connections, will be able to connect for homework, activities, and to use our new digital data dashboard, Empower, which communicates grades and progress with families,” said Jill Tingle, Chief Operations Officer, Shelby County Public Schools.
Each participating student in the program will receive either a free smartphone or hotspot device and 10GB of high-speed LTE data per month for up to four years while they are in high school. Unlimited data is available at 265 kbps speeds if usage exceeds 10GB in a month. Every device has a Free Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant content filter to block adult content and malware. Students who receive a smartphone receive unlimited domestic voice and text while on the Sprint network and may also use it as a hotspot.
In a survey of those who participated in the first year of the program, the vast majority of students (84%) said the 1Million Project made it easier for them to complete more of their homework in a comfortable, convenient, and safe place. Looking forward, 74% said they are more willing to work hard to graduate from high school. And, 68% said they are more likely to go to college. Administrators reported improved attitudes toward learnings, homework completion rates and school attendance among students.
Schools or districts who want to apply for the fourth year of the program, which begins with the 2020-2021 school year, can visit www.1millionproject.org to learn more. Applicants will receive a response by spring 2020.
Anyone looking to support the program can visit 1millionproject.org/donate to make a donation via credit card.2
About The 1Million Project Foundation:
The 1Million Project Foundation will help 1 million high school students who do not have reliable Internet access at home reach their full potential by giving them mobile devices and free high-speed Internet access. Today’s learning environment requires 24/7 internet access in order to study, learn, explore and complete school work from home. Students that cannot connect when they leave school are at disadvantage, and their chances of staying on track in school are greatly limited. By working with school districts across America, the 1Million Project seeks to remove a significant hurdle in these students’ lives by ensuring they have the same access to the internet as any other student so that they too have a fair shot at achieving their full potential. For more information, visit www.1MillionProject.org.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.3 million connections as of June 30, 2019 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint’s legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching a 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 The Pew Research Center (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/20/the-numbers-behind-the-broadband-homework-gap/)
2 Cash donations for the 1Million Project Foundation are tax-deductible charitable contributions.