City helps expand internet access for students

Health

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– As families around the nation figure out how to navigate e-learning from home, one school district in Central Illinois just got a big donation to help students get better access to the web.

People throughout our communities have been stepping up to help others during this pandemic.
Now, the City of Springfield is helping students in Springfield School District 186 by providing hot spots for them to use for internet access as they learn from home.

“When everything was happening, laptops were hard to come by and hot spots were another commodity but through our relationships, we were able to secure 1,000 hot spots and then get them in this week and get them programmed so they can be handed out to children who need access to online learning,” said Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder.

“The most important people in our lives, that’s our children, because that’s our future, and we’re just happy that we could help.”

The devices were purchased through a community block grant for 49 dollars each.
The school district already distributed over 5,000 Chromebooks and iPads to students during the pandemic but Superintendent Jennifer Gill said in a statement: “Our technology access survey confirmed that many still lack internet connectivity in their homes. We’re thankful to the City of Springfield for procuring the hot spots that will be loaned to our students and helping to open up more remote learning possibilities.”

The district is planning to hand out the devices to eligible families. While the city is covering the costs of the hot spots, the school district will pay for the service expenses while children use them remotely.

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