OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – November 7, 2018 – Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today that the 1Million Project Foundation aims to provide more than 48,000 California high school students in 29 school districts with a free mobile device and free wireless service by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. The program 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. In its first year, the initiative connected 113,000 students across the country, and more than 31,000 students in California. By the end of the 2018-19 school year, more than 260,000 students total at over 1,700 high schools in 33 states will receive internet access and devices.
“With 29 school districts across the state participating in the 1Million Project this school year, we have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of tens of thousands of Californian high schoolers,” said Doug Michelman, president of the 1Million Project Foundation. “In today’s classrooms, access to the internet is critical, and allowing inequities among our students is unacceptable. We are very proud of what the 1Million Project has already accomplished in partnership with California’s school districts, and look forward to what we can achieve this school year and in years to come.”
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.
A 2017 survey conducted by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the percentage of Californian households lacking a broadband internet connection (69%) mirrors national findings.2 The survey also reported that the cost of broadband service or not owning a computer or smartphone was a major factor for these families.
“For the 21st century classroom, students need every tool possible to get the most out of their education,” says Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Home internet access is something that many people take for granted. But in more economically challenged areas, it is not a given. Sprint’s 1Million Project Foundation has already provided thousands of our students with free internet access at home, and that has made a remarkable difference in their lives. They can confidently surf the web researching for school assignments and feeding their own creativity. We thank Sprint for supporting our young people.”
“In order to be competitive in the Silicon Valley economy, our students must have access to the proper technological tools,” said Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Mary E. Streshly. Our districts’ goal is to prepare all students and ensure that they will have the necessary tools which will develop the proper skills for their future careers. This program exemplifies our core mission of supporting our students both in the classroom and at home. We are proud to have connected 318 families to date and counting.”
The 1Million Project Foundation will distribute devices and provide service to eligible students at the following school districts (* denotes new participants in Year 2 of the program):
- Alameda County Office of Education*
- Anaheim Union High School District*
- Azusa Unified School District*
- Baldwin Park Unified School District
- Birmingham Community Charter High School
- Campbell Union High School District
- Centinela Valley Union High School District
- East Side Union High School District
- Escondido Union High School District
- Hacienda La Puente Unified School District*
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- Montebello Unified School District
- New Designs Charter School
- Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District*
- Oakland Unified School District
- Orange Unified School District
- Paramount Unified School District
- Pasadena Unified School District
- Pomona Unified School District
- Riverside Unified School District
- Rowland Unified School District*
- San Bernardino City Unified School District
- San Jacinto Unified School District*
- San Jose Unified School District
- San Mateo Union High School District*
- Santa Ana Unified School District
- Sequoia Union High School District*
- Tulare Joint Union High School District*
- West Contra Costa Unified School District
Each participating student participating will receive either a free smartphone, tablet, or hotspot device and 3GB 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 3GB 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 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 third year of the program, which begins with the 2019-2020 school year, can visit www.1millionproject.org to learn more. Applicants will receive a response by spring 2019.
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 54.5 million connections as of Sept. 30, 2018 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 the first 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com orwww.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.