Sprint (NYSE: S) and Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) announced at an event with CMSD CEO Eric S. Gordon today that 1,500 high school students will receive a free mobile device and free wireless service as part of the 1Million Project Foundation. The program launched in August 2017 with a mission to help one million high school students achieve their full potential by ensuring they have the digital tools and connectivity they need to succeed in school. In its first year, the initiative connected 113,000 students across the country, and by the end of the 2018-19 school year, more than 260,000 students total at over 1,700 high schools in 33 states will receive internet access and devices.
"Today’s students need equitable access to essential digital tools and connectivity to succeed in high school," said Doug Michelman, president of the 1Million Project Foundation. "Those students who are disconnected when they leave school every afternoon should not be at a disadvantage just because their families cannot provide them connectivity at home. With the support of Sprint, a national wireless company, we are in a powerful position to do something about this problem by arming eligible students with the critical tools they need to succeed and to believe that they can succeed."
Right here in the U.S., there are more than five million families with school-aged kids who do not have home internet access.1 Unfortunately, this means that millions of students lack the devices and connectivity needed to have an equal shot at success.
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) consistently ranks Cleveland in the top ten list of America’s Worst Connected Cities. NDIA’s 2018 report ranked Cleveland as sixth on the list noting that nearly 50 percent of households lack a fixed broadband connection.2
The 1Million Project Foundation will distribute devices and provide service to eligible students at the following CMSD high schools:
- Cleveland Early College High School
- Cleveland Metropolitan Schools John Adams High School
- Cleveland School of Architecture and Design
- Cleveland School of Science and Medicine
- Collinwood New Tech
- Digital Arts
- Ginn Academy
- John F. Kennedy Eagle
- John F. Kennedy Pact
- John Marshall Civic & Business Leadership
- John Marshall Information Technology
- John Marshall School of Engineering
- Lincoln West Global Studies
- Lincoln West-Science & Health
- New Tech East
- Rhodes College and Career
- Rhodes Environmental Studies
Each participating student 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 high school. Unlimited data is available at 265 kbps speeds if usage exceeds 3GB in a month. Every device has a Free Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant content filter to block adult content and malware. Students who receive a smartphone receive unlimited voice and text while on the Sprint network and may also use it as a hotspot.
In a survey of those who participated in the first year of the program, the vast majority of students (84%) said the 1Million Project made it easier for them to complete more of their homework in a comfortable, convenient, and safe place. Looking forward, 74% said they are more willing to work hard to graduate from high school. And, 68% said they are more likely to go to college. Administrators reported improved attitudes toward learnings, homework completion rates and school attendance among students.
Schools or districts who want to apply for the third year of the program, which begins with the 2019-2020 school year, can visit www.1millionproject.org to learn more. Applicants will receive a response by spring 2019.
Anyone looking to support the program can visit 1millionproject.org/donate to make a donation via credit card.3
About The 1Million Project Foundation:
The 1Million Project Foundation will help 1 million high school students who do not have reliable Internet access at home reach their full potential by giving them mobile devices and free high-speed Internet access. Today’s learning environment requires 24/7 internet access in order to study, learn, explore and complete school work from home. Students that cannot connect when they leave school are at disadvantage, and their chances of staying on track in school are greatly limited. By working with school districts across America, the 1Million Project seeks to remove a significant hurdle in these students’ lives by ensuring they have the same access to the internet as any other student so that they too have a fair shot at achieving their full potential. For more information, visit www.1MillionProject.org.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.6 million connections as of June 30, 2018 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint’s legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching the first 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 The Pew Research Center (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/20/the-numbers-behind-the-broadband-homework-gap/)
2 National Digital Inclusion Worst Connected Cities Report(https://www.digitalinclusion.org/blog/2018/06/07/worst-connected-cities-2016/)
3 Cash donations for the 1Million Project Foundation are tax-deductible charitable contributions.