With technology playing such a huge role in our day-to-day lives, access and connectivity online is critical to ensure kids and teens can succeed academically. Thanks to a donation from AT&T, local students are now being given the tools they need for academia and more through the Boys & Girls Clubs’ new local Connected Learning Center (CLC), slated to launch Nov. 16.
Part of AT&T’s three-year, $2 billion (!) commitment to bridge the digital divide, the learning center—located at the Boys & Girls Club’s “The Club” Teen Center, which already touts a gymnasium, study lounge, art studio and more—provides internet access, computers and financial means to help students obtain the resources they need to succeed.
“AT&T’s generous contribution supports the Boys & Girls Clubs’ goal of leveling the playing field for children and teens who face the greatest economic and social challenges in this community,” says Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County President/CEO Ralph Capps. “Many of our families lack access to high-quality internet connectivity at home, putting their kids at a disadvantage with respect to academics, career development and the countless other ways in which internet connectivity equates to opportunity.”
In addition to the high-speed internet and computers at the CLC, AT&T also donated $50,000 in program support to help with access to other resources—think tutors, counselors/mentors, career development, etc.
AT&T allocates the inspiration for this donation to their consideration of education, and how important it is for students to do well in an academic and social setting. “The stakes for closing the digital divide are incredibly high, and it is imperative that we remove barriers to opportunity for children and families,” says AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh. “Education plays a vital role in the long-term success of our society, and we are committed to investing in the educational and connectivity needs of underserved communities while also expanding access to low-cost broadband services.”
Though this partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs and AT&T is not new, this is the telecommunication company’s biggest donation by far. “We are thrilled to collaborate once again with AT&T to enable even more youth across the nation to achieve a great future,” says Boys & Girls Clubs of America President/CEO Jim Clark.
And AT&T doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. As part of its three-year plan, AT&T hopes to make home internet more affordable nationwide, providing internet access to over 135,000 schools, in addition to an Emergency Broadband Benefit program that allows eligible customers to lower their monthly internet cost.
AT&T also ultimately hopes to bring these resources to individual homes to level the playing field and allow students to have all the tools they need right at their fingertips. “We know this support is vital to closing the digital divide, and that’s why we continue to prioritize our efforts in underserved communities around the country,” says AT&T CEO John Stankey. “The resources available in these centers are crucial to connecting more Americans to greater possibilities and helping them achieve educational, economic and work success.” Now how’s that for staying connected?!