An Internet connection can make a huge difference. When educators in Boulder, Colo., noticed that low-income students were falling behind their classmates in part because they couldn’t do online research at home, they came up with a unique solution: why not share the school district’s Wi-Fi with some low-income housing developments? The Boulder Valley School District teamed up with Boulder Housing Partners, an organization that owns and manages affordable housing in Boulder, to create a pilot project that will give 88 kids living in a north Boulder low-income housing development free wireless internet access. Because Boulder already owns fiber-optic lines that provide Wi-Fi to its schools, the pilot project will only cost the school district $1000 to implement. Boulder Housing Partners, meanwhile, will help the residents who need computers. If all goes well, officials plan to expand the program to all of Boulder’s low-income housing sites. “We know that about half the children in our low-income family housing sites don’t have Internet access at home,” Rene Brodeur of Boulder Housing Partners told Amy Bounds of the Boulder Daily Camera. “To succeed in school, you absolutely need it.”
This low-cost, creative solution should help bridge the tech divide.
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