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Mount Vernon Students Receive Free Smartphones, Internet From Sprint

Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton with several students.
Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton with several students. Photo Credit: MVCSD

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - Several hundred Mount Vernon students-in-need will soon have access to high-speed Internet and smart devices through a collaborative effort with Sprint.

The Mount Vernon School District will provide 300 students with devices and free high-speed Internet access through Sprint’s “1Million Project,” a give year program that seeks to provide that access to one million students across the country, “giving them the resources they need to achieve their full academic potential.”

According to the project’s website, 70 percent of America’s high school teachers assign homework that requires Internet access, but more than 5 million families with school-aged children do not have reliable Internet connectivity at home. As a result, students are unable to complete their homework from home, search for jobs, or apply to colleges or for financial aid.

Mount Vernon is one of 120 school districts to participate in the first year of the “1Million Project,” which includes a five-year plan. Since its launch last August, the project has provided the devices and Internet to 120 eligible students at Mount Vernon High School, Nellie A. Thornton High School and Nelson Mandela High School. The items were received during the district’s holiday concert last month.

In order to qualify for a free phone, students must demonstrate a lack of access to the Internet at home by completing a form, which students’ parents are required to sign before district processes their applications. Qualifying students receive a free cell phone with 3GB of high-speed LTE data to use per month, as well as a text and calling plan that lasts for four years or until the student graduates high school. After graduation, students are able to keep their devices.

“Ensuring that our students have the tools they need to succeed is a top priority for the District,” Schools Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton stated. “By participating in the 1Million Project, we are able to provide 300 students with access to the internet, a resource that has become increasingly more important for them to complete coursework and to excel academically.”

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