As students and teachers cross the threshold into a full year of remote learning, AT&T and leading nonprofit Connected Nation are continuing work to put the connectivity solutions vital to education into the hands of those who need it most.
Today, AT&T is announcing that Augsburg Fairview Academy will receive more than 60 free hotspots as well as free internet connectivity. They are part of more than 100 organizations and school districts that will benefit from a $10 million commitment first announced last year to provide free internet subscriptions and wireless hotspots to 35,000 vulnerable students across the country.1
Millions of students nationwide and 249,000 students in Minnesota currently lack access to the connectivity and devices required for successful online learning. While this homework gap is not new, the pandemic has heightened the challenges -- most acutely in rural and under-resourced neighborhoods, where the effects disproportionately impact 1 in 3 students of color, as well as students with disabilities, and roughly 10 percent of all public school teachers.
Whether students are learning remotely or in the classroom, having access to affordable high-speed internet and devices is a non-negotiable for successful learning outcomes.
“By helping to expand connectivity for the students Augsburg Fairview Academy serves, we can play a role in narrowing the homework gap and helping address inequities associated with virtual learning.”Paul Weirtz — President, AT&T Minnesota
“Organizations like Augsburg Fairview Academy are critical to serving and supporting some of the most at-risk students across Minneapolis,” said Paul Weirtz, AT&T Minnesota President. “By helping to expand connectivity for the students Augsburg Fairview Academy serves, we can play a role in narrowing the homework gap and helping address inequities associated with virtual learning.”
“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.”
In addition to contributions to organizations like Augsburg Fairview Academy, AT&T is expanding wireless affordability and flexibility for all schools in its service with unlimited wireless data plans that include content filtering services to support online safety protocols.
1 Selected recipients are required to agree to certain terms before receiving Internet subscriptions and wireless hotspots.