Less than a week left for schools, nonprofits to apply for free AT&T mobile broadband service to help kids learn remotely
Program is focused on helping the nation’s most vulnerable students access online learning, participate in virtual classrooms
Bowling Green, Ky. (January 6, 2021) – The deadline for nonprofits and schools to apply for the AT&T K-12 homework gap program is Monday, January 11. K-12 school districts, charter schools, and community-based nonprofits that serve at-risk K-12 students are invited to apply online to be considered for an award.
Connected Nation (CN), a national nonprofit working to expand access, adoption, and use of high-speed internet and its related technologies, is administering the program, following a $10 million commitment from AT&T to provide free internet service and mobile Wi-Fit hotspots to at-risk students.
“2020 was a challenging year for all of us, but it was devastating for many children who became completely disconnected from formal learning as the pandemic forced schools to shut their doors and move to virtual instruction. As a result, many of these students have lost months, if not an entire school year, of learning,” said Brent Legg, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, CN. “What makes this program so unique is that is seeks to help those students who are most at-risk of falling through the cracks—ensuring that internet access is no longer a barrier for them to learn.”
The program is primarily focused on impacting students in the following groups:
- Students in foster care
- Students experiencing homelessness
- English language learners
- Students with disabilities
- Students eligible for the Migrant Education Program
- Other at-risk students who may be disconnected from formal education opportunities
According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, nearly 17 million public K-12 students have fallen into the “homework gap” due to COVID-19 school closures. In addition, Bellwether Education Partners estimates that approximately 3 million at-risk students may not have experienced any formal education—virtual or in-person—since March 2020.
In addition to free wireless internet access and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, some awardees may also receive a new or refurbished laptop, Chromebook, or tablet learning device (based on need and subject to availability). Applicants may seek awards for up to 500 students per application, and school district awards will be limited to students across no more than 5 schools. Awardees are expected to be announced in early-to-mid February 2021 (subject to change).
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About Connected Nation: Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. Website: connectednation.org.