NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in the format in which it was sent:
SPRINT’S 1MILLION PROJECT TO CONNECT NORWALK PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR
250 Students Will Receive a Free Device and Free Wireless Service in First Year of the Program
Norwalk, Conn. (Dec. 5, 2017) – Sprint (NYSE: S) and Norwalk Public Schools announced today that high school students in Norwalk will receive the equipment and connectivity they need to complete their schoolwork from home as part of the 1Million Project.
“The ability for students to have consistent access to technology is critical as the world increasingly becomes reliant on careers that focus on science, technology, engineering and math skills,” said NPS Chief of Technology, Innovations and Partnerships Ralph Valenzisi. “This partnership with Sprint enables NPS to raise the bar and close the gap by leveling the playing field when it comes to students and technology.”
Seventy percent of America’s high school teachers assign homework requiring online connectivity, yet more than five million families with school-aged students do not have internet connectivity at home1. These students are unable to complete their homework, search for jobs, apply to college and financial aid, or easily access the valuable information they need to succeed in school and life.
“It’s incredible to know hundreds of kids from Norwalk who lack internet access at home will benefit from the 1Million Project,” said Gabriel Torres, Sprint President for the New England Region. “Our ambitious goal is to connect hundreds of more students over the next few years in Norwalk to help level the playing field and eliminate the ‘Homework Gap’.”
The program will roll out starting in January with a pilot for 250 students at both Norwalk High School and Brien McMahon High School. Within two years, Norwalk Public Schools plans to have a full one-to-one computer and internet access in place for all high school students.
Each student participating in the 1Million Project will receive either a free smartphone, tablet, or hotspot device and 3GB of high-speed LTE data per month for up to four years, while they are in high school. Unlimited data is available at 2G speeds if usage exceeds 3GB in a month. Those who receive a smartphone can use it as a hotspot.
To address the homework gap on such a large scale, Sprint piloted the program with 3,750 high school students in 10 markets in January 2017 through the end of the last school year. Lessons learned at the local level helped to prepare for the national rollout this fall. In a survey of students who participated in the pilot, the vast majority (86 percent) said the 1Million Project improved their attitude toward learning and school, and helped them do their homework in a comfortable, convenient and safe place. Looking forward, 82 percent of students said the program positively impacted the likelihood that they will persist and graduate from high school. Eighty percent said it improves the likelihood that they will continue on to college. The 2017-2018 school year marks the first year of the initiative with more 180,000 students in 1,300 schools across 30 states.
Schools or districts who want to apply for the second year of the 1Million Project, which begins with the 2018-19 school year, can visit www.sprint.com/1millionproject to learn more. Applicants will receive a response by spring 2018.
Anyone looking to support the program can visit www.sprint.com/give1mp to make a donation via credit card2. Sprint stores continue to accept monetary and device donations. Used mobile devices can also be donated online3. Devices will be recycled or resold with net proceeds benefiting the 1Million Project. Visit www.sprint.com/1millionproject for more information, and follow and support the program on social media by using the hashtag #1MillionProject.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54 million connections as of Sept. 30, 2017 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Norwalk Public Schools:
Norwalk Public Schools is made up of 12 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, one alternative high school program and one inclusive pre-school. NPS students come from a variety of backgrounds, with more than 41 percent of students speaking a second language at home. The NPS system delivers a learning experience that is rich in cultural diversity, as well as one that is reflective of the global society in which our graduates will work and live. The district vision is that Norwalk Public Schools will be the most successful city school system in Connecticut.
 The Pew Research Center (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/20/the-numbers-behind-the-broadband-homework-gap/)
2 Cash donations for the 1Million Project are tax-deductible charitable contributions to the Sprint Foundation.
3 Device donations are not tax deductible. Net proceeds from reselling/recycling donated devices or $1 per device, whichever is greater, will be donated to the program.
This press release was posted as a public service. A press release is a written announcement submitted to news organizations to publicize an event or activity, a milestone or a point of view. NancyOnNorwalk has not researched the assertions made and takes no responsibility for the content.