OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Oct. 25, 2018 -- Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today that the 1Million Project Foundation aims to provide approximately 30,000 Texas high school students in 17 school districts with a free mobile device and free wireless service by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. 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, including more than 18,000 students across Texas. 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.
"We’ve been proud to partner with many school districts in Texas since we launched the 1Million Project Foundation, and the program continues to grow across the state with 18 school districts in the program this school year," said Doug Michelman, president of the 1Million Project Foundation. "In a state as big as Texas, student needs vary widely from district to district, however, one thing is consistent. Access to technology is absolutely critical to student success, and far too many are cut off from the internet after they leave school grounds. Our goal is to help end this homework gap for students in Texas and across the country."
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 American students lack the devices and connectivity needed to have an equal shot at success. And, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 25 percent of Texas households lack internet access.2
"The Houston Independent School District is incredibly grateful for the partnership and support of the Sprint 1 Million Project," said HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan. "Sprint stepped up to help us in our greatest time of need after Hurricane Harvey, pledging 10,000 hotspot devices for our students. The ability to connect to the internet at home gives students access to digital resources and online assignments, which directly impacts academic achievement."
The 1Million Project Foundation will distribute devices and provide service to eligible students at the following high schools and school districts (* denotes new participants in Year 2 of the program):
- Austin Independent School District
- Cypress Park High School*
- Donna Independent School District
- El Paso Independent School District*
- Everman Independent School District
- Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District
- Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District
- Houston Independent School District
- Irving Independent School District
- KIPP Inc.*
- Laredo Independent School District
- Lewisville Independent School District
- Richardson Independent School District*
- San Antonio Independent School District
- South San Antonio Independent School District
- Weslaco Independent School District*
- YES Prep Public Schools
Each participating student participating 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 Digest of Education Statistics: Number and percentage of households with computer and internet access, by state: 2015 (https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d16/tables/dt16_702.60.asp)
3 Cash donations for the 1Million Project Foundation are tax-deductible charitable contributions.