Verizon supports remote learning in New York City with $43M commitment, impacting 39,000 students

Verizon Communications
·7-min read

What you need to know:

  • As COVID-19 causes some New York City schools to temporarily continue to distance learn, Verizon is supporting efforts to provide digital learning tools to students in the largest school district in the country with a $43 million commitment

  • Verizon is donating mobile hotspots equipped with data plans to 20,000 students in New York City to support remote learning

  • COVID-related grants from Verizon to education nonprofit organizations will provide STEM opportunities for NYC students in grades K-8

  • This school year, 15 NYC Title I middle schools joined Verizon Innovative Learning, providing 1:1 devices, Internet access and teacher training

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Nov. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With some New York City (NYC) public schools temporarily continuing to distance learn, Verizon is supporting efforts to bridge the digital divide in the nation’s largest school district with a $43 million commitment to enable more students to learn digitally. Verizon is supporting the district’s ongoing efforts to provide remote learning tools by donating 20,000 mobile hotspots to students who face barriers to internet and technology access in NYC Department of Education (DOE) schools, facilitated in partnership with the Fund for Public Schools, as well as providing grant funding to several education nonprofit organizations to enable continued STEM education. These initiatives are in addition to 15 NYC public schools joining Verizon Innovative Learning, the company’s education initiative focused on bridging the digital divide. Together, these efforts are part of Verizon’s continued commitment to Digital Inclusion, a key pillar under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement.

"The hotspot donation, our commitment to work with local non-profits to benefit students and the expansion of our Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative further demonstrates our commitment to Verizon's home city," said Anthony Lewis, Region Vice President of State Government Affairs at Verizon. "Our students need connectivity to enable learning from home, and we are proud to step up and be part of the solution."

“Thank you to Verizon for boosting our efforts to support our City’s public school students and their families in this critical moment,” said Julie L. Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer of the Fund for Public Schools. “Your donation will go towards the NYC Department of Education’s essential work of ensuring students have the resources they need to succeed – no matter where they are learning.”

Hotspot donation for students

Verizon is donating Orbic Speed mobile hotspots equipped with 30GB per /month of Internet access to support remote learning for 20,000 under-resourced students in NYC DOE schools. The donation, facilitated through a partnership with the Fund for Public Schools, will help ensure students who have a school-issued tablet or laptop but lack reliable home internet access can continue to learn digitally while some school buildings are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. The data plans on the mobile hotspots will be available until August 2022.

Nonprofit grants to support STEM education

Also because of COVID-19, Verizon is supporting STEM education through grant funding to education nonprofit organizations benefiting the most vulnerable K-8 students across NYC’s five boroughs. The grants will enable over 15,000 students to access online resources including 3D design and virtual reality tools, mentorship opportunities, programming on digital literacy, game design coding, social justice in-class activities and much more. The organizations receiving programmatic grants from Verizon include: Bronxworks, CAMBA, DIVAS for Social Justice, Grand Street Settlement, Hypothekids, NY Public Library, Phipps and STEM Kids NYC.

Verizon Innovative Learning

Fifteen NYC Title I public middle schools in four boroughs recently joined the Verizon Innovative Learning program, and are among 111 new schools to join for the 2020-21 school year, bringing the program to 264 middle and high schools nationwide. Verizon Innovative Learning, in partnership with education nonprofit Digital Promise, provides schools participating in the program with 1:1 devices equipped with Internet access, technology-driven STEM curriculum and teacher training, helping to keep students connected during the transition to distance learning this year. As students, parents and teachers across the country look for support to alleviate the stress of remote education, Verizon is continuing to triple the amount of data for all Verizon Innovative Learning schools, from 10GB to 30GB per month.

Verizon’s continued commitment to Digital Inclusion

These initiatives build upon Verizon’s efforts to help under-resourced communities bridge the digital divide. Since 2012, Verizon Innovative Learning has helped to close the digital divide by providing 450,000 students across the country with connectivity, technology and an immersive STEM curriculum, investing over $535M in market value towards STEM education. All K-12 educators across the nation can now access Teacher Training Pathways, a free platform offering courses to help teachers become more efficient and effective in delivering technology-integrated instruction, and the STEM Activity Center, an online toolkit that provides STEM resources and hands-on activities that introduce K-12 students to new skills within augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D design and more. Verizon and The New York Times are continuing to offer all Verizon Innovative Learning teachers access to curated educational content from The Times’s Learning Network, as well as all free access for students and teachers in high schools across the U.S. to NYTimes.com through September 1, 2021. The Verizon Distance Learning Program, developed in response to COVID-19 to provide reliable, affordable Internet connections and solutions, is now available for more than 38 million students across 40 states and the District of Columbia.

Verizon is committed to creating a digitally inclusive and equitable society, helping more students than ever stay connected and thrive in today's virtual learning environment. To learn more about Verizon’s Digital Inclusion efforts, visit CitizenVerizon.com.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is celebrating its 20th year as one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $131.9 billion in 2019. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

About Citizen Verizon
Citizen Verizon is the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. Citizen Verizon empowers Verizon to deliver on its mission to move the world forward through action by expanding digital access and resources, protecting the climate, and ensuring people have the skills needed for jobs of the future. Through Citizen Verizon, and the key pillars of Digital Inclusion, Climate Protection and Human Prosperity, the company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030, supporting 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030, achieving carbon neutrality in its operations by 2035, and preparing 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future by 2030. Learn more at CitizenVerizon.com.

About Verizon Innovative Learning
Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon's education initiative targeting Title 1 schools, addresses barriers to digital inclusion and is a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. The program provides free 1:1 devices, free internet access and a technology-driven curriculum with the goal to transform the learning experience. Through exposure to cutting-edge technology, the program enables students to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to build an innovative workforce of the future. Since 2012, Verizon Innovative Learning has committed a total of $535 million in STEM education efforts in support of digital inclusion. In 2019, Verizon launched its first 5G-enabled Verizon Innovative Learning classroom, with the goal of 100 by 2021. The company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030. Learn more at CitizenVerizon.com or find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Media contact:
Bernadette Brijlall
Bernadette.Brijlall@verizon.com

David Weissmann
david.weissmann@verizon.com
917-359-7215