What’s the news? AT&T is continuing to bring its nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide to St. Louis, with the second donation of laptops this summer.
Funded by an AT&T donation to Compudopt, 100 laptops will be distributed to families, primarily from the Dutchtown and Gravois Park areas of St. Louis, who have children in grades K-12 and who do not have a computer at home. AT&T is working with Compudopt and Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club of St. Louis (GSGBC) to provide laptops and digital literacy resources to help the families fully participate in our digital world.
Why is this important?
In St. Louis, it’s estimated that nearly 16,000 K-12 students1 don’t have digital basics at home, including access to the internet, computers or skills needed to benefit from the online world, an issue known as the digital divide.
These efforts are part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative, created as part of our companywide, $2 billion commitment from 2021- 2023, to help address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption.
The youth served by GSGBC live in South St. Louis. Based on the high concentration of poverty in these areas, they are at significant risk to suffer the long-term impact of unresolved trauma, as evidenced by academic failure, drug and gang activity and incarceration.2
What are people saying?
“A young person’s dreams for the future, and the likelihood of them fulfilling those dreams, shouldn’t be determined by their ZIP code,” said Missouri state Sen. Steve Roberts (District 5). “Education is the key to the future and the ability to use technology and engage positively in an online world are essential. I’m looking forward to learning how these laptops will impact the students and their families.”
“Our mission at Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club is to empower girls and boys in the St. Louis-metropolitan area, especially those who need us most, to realize their physical, intellectual and emotional potential,” said Robert Puricelli, Executive Director, Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club of St. Louis. “An important part of that accomplishment is helping them develop reading and digital literacy skills needed in today’s world. These laptops will help the students immeasurably in those areas.”
“AT&T is proud to collaborate with organizations like Compudopt to help close the digital equity gap in St. Louis. Many students in St. Louis lack the devices needed for digital learning,” said Craig Unruh, president, AT&T Missouri & Arkansas. “Access to connectivity is vital in helping to bridge the digital divide and we are glad we can provide these resources to those that need them most.”
About Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club of St. Louis
Launched in 1929 as the Boys’ Club of St. Louis, the club was the first officially affiliated boys’ club in the State of Missouri. In 2006 it was renamed the Gene Slay’s Boys’ Club of St. Louis to honor Eugene P. Slay, who served as President and CEO from 1993 until his passing in 2011. To reflect its expansion to serve girls on a full time and permanent basis, the Club was renamed the Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club of St. Louis in 2016. Initially a recreation center and safe haven, GSGBC provides high quality and holistic programs that respect and meet the needs of at-risk youth through academics, leadership building, health, athletics, and the arts. GSGBC improves the lives of at-risk and underserved youth South St. Louis, while assisting them in the creation of a future free from fear of violence.
*About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
We’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities, and improving lives. As part of our companywide $2 billion commitment from 2021- 2023 to address the digital divide, we launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity and technology, digital literacy, and education solutions to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Since 2008 we’ve committed to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states, Washington D.C and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.