What’s the news? Dozens of Central Appalachia families will soon be directly benefitting from AT&T’s nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide.
AT&T, working with Human I-T, will provide 75 refurbished laptops and other resources to the Hindman Settlement School. The laptops, funded by an AT&T donation to Human I-T, will be given to students enrolled at the school, and will be used in the school literacy programs, helping participants prepare to fully participate in today’s digital world.
Why is this important?
In Central Appalachia1, it’s estimated that more than 77,000 K-12 students2 don’t have access to the internet, computers or skills needed at home 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.
Approximately 50 of the laptops will be provided to K-8 children and their families to help enable them to participate and engage in the school’s tutoring program. Additionally, approximately 20 laptops will be available for high school students who are enrolled in Ironwood Writers Studio, a residential summer creative writing program.
What are people saying?
“Every Kentuckian has the right to quality education,” said Kentucky Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman. “And, in today’s online world, that begins with reading at grade level and with digital literacy in using technology. The work being done at the Hindman School is giving students a foundation for the future which will create cycles of success for generations. I am proud of the work being done by the faculty and staff and appreciate the support of corporate citizens like AT&T who are helping to build a commonwealth that works for everyone.”
“A substantial number of our students and their families have outdated technology which creates a significant barrier for our interventionists to provide them with the support they need,” said Josh Mullins, Senior Director for Program Development at Hindman. “Even more troubling is the number of students who simply have no technology available to them at all at home. These laptops will make a real difference in their lives and their futures as they overcome their barriers to grade-level reading.”
“AT&T is proud to collaborate with organizations like Human I-T and to support the work of the Hindman Settlement School and others working to help close the digital equity gap in Appalachia and throughout Kentucky,” said Carlos E. Sanchez, president of AT&T Kentucky. “Access to computers is vital in helping to bridge the digital divide. We are glad we can provide these resources and excited to think about the impact they will have for the students and families that use them.”
*About the Hindman Settlement School
Our mission is to provide education and service opportunities for people of the mountains, while keeping them mindful of their heritage. At Hindman Settlement School, we provide practical courses, programs, and services designed to inspire collaboration and improve the lives of the people in our community. We bring inspirational, life-changing educational services to children with dyslexia and their parents, and we develop and manage community service programs customized to meet our region’s growing demands and challenges.
*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 and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.
1 Bell, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Perry, and Pike counties
2 Interactive Map: America’s Unconnected Students – Digital Bridge K-12 (digitalbridgek12.org)