By Adrienne Keel Mitchell
Birmingham City Schools
There are a number of families with students in the Birmingham City School system who do not have access to the internet. This means that when teachers assign homework for which students need online access it could mean students going to the nearest library until closing time, or visiting businesses to use Wi-Fi.
Recently, more than 1,000 Birmingham City Schools high school students received free hotspots and free in-home internet connectivity, available for the duration of their high school careers courtesy of Sprint’s 1 Million Project.
Through the 1Million Project, Sprint will provide 1 million low-income high school students who don’t have home internet access with free wireless connectivity or a free device that includes connectivity. Students will have access to 3GB of high-speed LTE data per month. Unlimited data is available at 2G speeds if usage exceeds 3GB in a month. The 2017-2018 school year marks the first year of the initiative with more 180,000 students in 1,300 schools across 30 states.
“Learning should never consist of interruptions or inconvenience but yet many kids in Birmingham and across Alabama do not have internet access at home and unfortunately have to find other alternatives for connectivity just to get assignments done,” said Brian Miller, Sprint president for Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. “Sprint is helping to level the playing field for these students by eliminating the need for them to have to stay late at school or to find a public place after school hours just to use public Wi-Fi.”
This program rolls out just as Birmingham’s new Superintendent, Lisa Herring, is focusing on harnessing the power of technology to increase student achievement.
“It is our goal in Birmingham City Schools to aggressively and strategically work to close the opportunity gap,” said Herring. “This initiative serves as a major step in moving closer to our work with innovation and closing the gap.”
In addition to completing homework and projects, Birmingham City Schools recognizes the additional benefit of in-home connectivity. Whether applying for college, jobs, or financial aid, connectivity makes this, and access to other valuable information, possible.