Texas school districts, nonprofits to receive hotspots, free internet to help more than 1,800 students across the state
AT&T’s K-12 homework gap program is helping students nationwide participate in connected learning
Austin, Texas (April 12, 2021) – As students and teachers cross the threshold into a full year of remote learning, AT&T and leading nonprofit Connected Nation are continuing to work to put the connectivity solutions vital to education into the hands of those who need it most.
Today, Connected Nation Texas, the statewide program of national nonprofit Connected Nation, is announcing that eight school districts and nonprofits across the state will receive free mobile hotspots and internet connectivity to serve 1,813 at-risk students—including students with disabilities and students experiencing homelessness.
They are part of the more than 100 organizations and school districts that will benefit from a $10 million commitment by AT&T first announced last year to provide free internet subscriptions and wireless hotspots to 35,000 vulnerable students across the country.
“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,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. “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.”
AT&T collaborated with Connected Nation on the program. The program is primarily focused on impacting and helping at risk students including students in foster care, those with disabilities, and other at-risk students disconnected from formal education opportunities.
“The pandemic has heightened the challenges faced by the millions of K-12 students nationwide who currently lack the connectivity needed for online learning,” said Leslie Ward, President, AT&T-Texas. “Under-resourced neighborhoods have been hit particularly hard. AT&T is proud to continue our collaboration with Connected Nation and continue our efforts in closing the homework gap for our most vulnerable students in Texas.”
The seven Texas organizations and schools benefitting from the K-12 homework gap program are:
- Casa of Central Texas, Inc.
- THRIVE Inc.
- Priddy Independent School District
- EMERGE Fellowship
- Bastrop Independent School District
- Carrizo Springs CISD
- Westwood Independent School District
“As I have worked with communities across Texas to close the Digital Divide, I witnessed the struggles students who do not have internet access face and how hard schools and nonprofits are working to try to help these kids,” said Jennifer Harris, State Program Director, Connected Nation Texas. “I applaud AT&T for its commitment to helping those students who are most at-risk. By providing these free hotspots and internet connectivity to schools and nonprofits that are doing good work across the state, AT&T is making it possible for thousands of Texas students to take part in remote learning.”
There are 124 awardees in the program that span 26 states—representing 81 schools and 43 nonprofits. In total, 35,000 hotspots will be given to programs that help at-risk students across the country. Schools and nonprofits could seek up to 500 hotspots per application.
To see the full list of awardees and learn more about the impact of this program, head to connectednation.org/homeworkgap. You can also learn more about the offer here or visit www.att.com/closethegap.
# # #
Jessica Denson, Communications Director
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 (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: connectednation.org and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.
About AT&T Communications
We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we @ATT innovate to improve lives. AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). For more information, please visit us at att.com.