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Sprint Is Helping to Bridge the Digital Divide

It is a lesson in corporate responsibility that is resonating with schools nationwide. Sprint and the Sprint Foundation have identified one of our nation’s greatest learning challenges – a lack of reliable and affordable Internet connectivity for learners, their families and the education community.

At the heart of the problem, according to the Pew Research Center, is the fact that seventy percent of America’s high school teachers assign homework that requires online connectivity. This creates a sizable disconnect – there are currently more than 5 million families with school-aged students who do not have Internet connectivity at home.

This disconnect, known in education circles as the Homework Gap, places millions of school-age children at risk of not having equitable access to the same educational opportunities as their peers. It is a challenge in which school districts in every corner of the nation struggle.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Landscape Dark Lightning Bridge Clouds NightMany schools are at a loss to address this challenge. They are either unable or unwilling to devote the resources necessary to provide connectivity for the families who cannot afford it. To date, response from the public sector has been inadequate to close the Homework Gap. Fortunately, help is arriving from our corporate citizens. One program in particular, the Sprint 1Million Project, is making significant headway.

At the beginning of this current school year, 180,000 low-income high school students, predominately those on a free or reduced lunch program, were set to receive both a device and home connectivity as part of the 1Million Project. The Sprint Foundation, with support from Sprint, reported that during this first year of the project, more than 1,300 schools across 30 states would now be able to provide 180,000 students with free devices and wireless service for up to four years while in high school. During the life of the 5-year program, up to 1 million high school students who lack Internet access at home will benefit from the 1Million Project, placing them on an equitable playing field and eliminating the Homework Gap for these students.

Students receive free Sprint service which includes Internet connectivity. They also receive high speed data and a device (generally a tablet or phone) donated to the 1Million Project from Sprint’s device manufacturers.

A Savings Program for Educators

In addition to the Sprint 1Million Project, Sprint is also demonstrating its continued commitment to education through a savings program for the education community called the Sprint WorksSM Program. The program was created to extend savings and special offers to employees and students of the schools, universities and organizations who team up with Sprint, and includes teachers, administrators and other school staff. By making the program available to all employees of the education institution, Sprint is recognizing the contributions made to our children’s education by everyone in the building.

How to take advantage of the Sprint WorksSM Program

Sprint values the work educators do every day and wants to pass along exclusive offers to the valued education community.

Thinking of joining Sprint? All you have to do is submit your work, school or organization email to see if you qualify for savings with the Sprint Works Program here.  It’s quick and easy!

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This post includes mentions of a partner of MindRocket Media Group the parent company of edCircuit

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