AT&T Opens Second Connected Learning Center in St. Louis

Craig Unruh – President, AT&T Missouri
May 16, 2024
Broadband Access and Affordability

AT&T Opens Second Connected Learning Center in St. Louis

In my role with AT&T, I regularly participate in events with other business, civic and government leaders who are collaborating on any number of projects – from breaking ground on new developments to announcing new infrastructure investments in neighborhoods across St. Louis and in communities across Missouri.

In April, I shared a stage with an extraordinary middle schooler from St. Louis named Jessie who represented the young people who will benefit from the new AT&T Connected Learning Center inside the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Herbert Hoover Club (BGCSTL HHC).

In a room full of BGCSTL HHC staff, students, state legislators, business leaders and others, Jessie confidently told us how the center will help her and the other students improve their homework and digital literacy skills and make learning fun.

A few minutes later, I watched as the students excitedly streamed into the center, which has AT&T Fiber®, Wi-Fi and 32 new Dell computers – the most computers we’ve installed at any CLC to date – loaded with software and resources such as The Achievery, a free digital learning platform created by AT&T, as well as free digital literacy courses created with the Public Library Association.

It was great to see and hear their reactions over the din of “ooohs” and “aaahs” as they walked through the doors for the first time.

“Look at this!”

“It’s awesome!”

“I love it!”

This new Connected Learning Center, our second in St. Louis and at the time our 38th in the country, is part of the AT&T Connected Learning® initiative to address the digital divide through investments in internet accessibility, affordability and the safe adoption of technology. The resources at the center will offer students engaging content and activities to support learning outside the classroom and help parents and caregivers build skills and confidence using technology.

Here in St. Louis, we’re working with many different groups who have shared goals: to help close the digital divide in our community to better equip St. Louisans of all ages with the tools and connectivity that are essential in our digital-first world.

We’re grateful for the support of local leaders like Missouri State Senator Karla May who said:

“When community organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs and companies like AT&T work together to close the digital divide, our children are better prepared for success. I’m glad to see AT&T is investing in our city – and in our future.”

Dr. Flint Fowler, president, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis told us:

“We are excited to continue our relationship with AT&T with the new Connected Learning Center at the Herbert Hoover Club. With an overwhelming response to last year’s free laptops program, we are confident that this new center will help bridge the digital divide and aid Club members in achieving academic success.”

As part of their commitment to digital inclusion, Dell Technologies donated Dell OptiPlex computers with integrated audio and webcams for use at AT&T Connected Learning Centers. St. Louis-based World Wide Technology, a leading minority supplier of IT services, provides project management and infrastructure services including device staging, imaging, and installation of devices in each AT&T Connected Learning Center.

Check out some of the news coverage from the St. Louis Argus, the St. Louis American, KSDK-TV, and Fox 2 News.

The opening of the center capped off a series of events in April focused on closing the digital divide in St. Louis.

On April 10, we joined NPower and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to open the St. Louis Community Helpdesk for people who need tech support in the St. Louis area. On April 15, we teamed up again with Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, the location of our first Connected Learning Center in the city, to distribute 300 laptops to area families and students in collaboration with Compudopt. And, on April 30, we distributed laptops to students from Harris-Stowe State University, an HBCU in St. Louis.

Last year, we also distributed laptops to families at the Urban League facility in Jennings; the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Teen Center of Excellence in Ferguson; and Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club in South St. Louis.

It was my honor to join Jessie and her classmates – and the many other people from the community who are dedicated to helping young people in St. Louis prepare for their futures and connect to greater possibility.

Photos by Lance Omar Thurman.

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