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Warren schools get connected with donated hot spots

Partnership donates 500 hot spots

WARREN — The Warren City School District has received more than 500 free hot spots as well as free internet connectivity through AT&T and nonprofit organization Connected Nation.

“As the Warren City School District continues to work to close the digital divide, AT&T’s generous contribution of 500 internet connection and content filtering devices will assist in providing for more students to have stable, reliable access to our online curriculum and other digital resources,” said Warren City Schools Superintendent Steve Chiaro. “We have found that in times like this it is imperative that we not only meet the curricular needs of our students but also stay connected with them and their families while addressing the social-emotional needs of the whole child. A contribution of this nature has such a profound impact on our students, staff, families and community. We are so grateful to AT&T and Connected Nation for bringing this opportunity to our students.”

The district is part of more than 100 organizations and school districts selected by Connected Nation that will benefit from a $10 million commitment first announced last year to provide free internet subscriptions and wireless hot spots to 35,000 vulnerable students across the country.

Millions of students nationwide 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 essential for successful learning outcomes.

“This support for students, families and educators in Warren helps lift our entire community,” said Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber CEO and President Guy Coviello. “We’re mindful that, even as students are returning to classrooms, it will still take time to address the educational impact the last year had on students. We are thankful to AT&T and Connected Nation for their help in keeping students connected.”

“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 and CEO of 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 if it’s needed, 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.”

“Organizations like the Warren City Schools are focused on the critical task of serving and supporting thousands of students in Northeast Ohio,” AT&T Ohio Director of External Affairs Christopher Wyche said. “By helping to expand connectivity for the students Warren city schools serves, we can play a role in narrowing the homework gap.”

news@tribtoday.com

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