Jim Mills, Region President for Sprint, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced recently that 7,600 CPS high school students will receive free mobile devices from the Sprint Foundation and high-speed wireless internet service from Sprint to help close the “Homework Gap” in Chicago.
“Access to high-speed Internet service and mobile devices helps our high school students to explore and learn, and to complete their schoolwork,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Sprint and the Sprint Foundation are helping to close the digital divide by putting 21st century technology in the hands of Chicago’s kids and helping them to connect to the learning and economic opportunities they deserve.”
Through Sprint’s 1Million Project, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, CPS students 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 the participating high school. Unlimited data is available at 2G speeds if usage exceeds 3GB in a month. Those who receive a smartphone can use it as a hotspot.
“The sky’s the limit when students pair quality instruction with access to knowledge through digital tools that prepare them for success,” said CPS CEO, Forrest Claypool. “Technology is breaking barriers by helping students learn at their own pace through personalized learning and it’s allowing them to continue exploring and growing when they leave the classroom. As a national leader in computer science education and personalized learning, we strive to help our students become the next generation of digital trailblazers.”
In total, Sprint will distribute 8,419 devices to Chicagoland schools, including:
- DuPage High School District – 300 lines/students
- Township High School District – 219 lines/students
- Youth Connection Charter School – 300 lines/students
CPS, DuPage High School, Township High School and Youth Connection Charter School will join 30 states, 118 school districts, over 1,300 schools and 180,000 students for the nationwide rollout beginning this fall. During the next five years, 1 million high school students will join the program and receive wireless devices and service for up to four years in a participating high school.
“High school is a critical time in a person’s life. It allows students to find their passions while creating a better community for the next generation,” said Jim Mills, Sprint President of Illinois & Wisconsin. “It’s our hope and goal that the 1Million Project provides students with the access they need for academic, career and personal success.”
Approximately 5 million U.S. families with school-aged children do not have broadband access at home, yet, at least 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires web access.
“No child should be left behind because they do not have access to broadband. Fast, reliable and affordable internet is not a luxury but a necessity,” said Congressman Bobby Rush. “More and more schools are incorporating internet based learning into their curriculum. Therefore, we have a moral duty to provide these children with the necessary tools to complete their assignments. That said, I applaud Sprint for its 1Million Project initiative that will bring us one step closer to closing the Homework Gap.”