Bridging the Digital divide, computer education access from home
When Schools closed due to COVID 19 and students started tele-education from their homes, a stark divide was noticed. Many homes did not have any internet access. This created a severe lack of access to education over the internet. In School District # 91 it was determined that at least 300 hot spots would need to provide internet to those without access. The Hotspots were difficult to come by as the entire world was in the same situation. The School District working with AT&T and other partners were able to identify the 300 hot spots and purchased them and two months of connection to get through the end of the school year.
The time during the 2019/2020 school year exposed the Digital Divide in our community. The Idaho Falls Rotary club is purposing to work with School District #91 to provide continued access to the hot spots by providing funding for additional months of service to the hot spots and filtering to be CIPA compliant as required by the state of Idaho. Volunteer club members trained by personal approved by the School District will be liaisons with the families who are using the hot spots and the School District technology department. The role of the liaison will be the check-in with the family on how is the hot spot performing if they are having any technical problems help to solve simple issues and passing along to the technology department contact any tech support needed. Families who choose to be in the program will be contacted at least twice a month by volunteers.
The budget for the project is as follows: Monthly connection costs $50. Filtering $10. Per Hot Spot.
Total cost per month = $60 per hot spot for 84 months of connection =$ 5,040 total cost
District request $2,500 Idaho Falls Rotary club =$2,540
Volunteer hours estimated = 104
The Idaho Falls Rotary Club would like to support the District by providing $5,040 to help defray the costs of providing educational access to students in need of internet connection to further their educational goals. Our club will raise $2,540 for this grant from our happy box funds. If matched by 2,500 in a district grant we would meet our goal to provide internet access for 84 months and provide volunteers to ensure the technology is working well for the education of the students whose families participate in the program.