More than 5,400 Phoenix Union Freshmen to Receive Equipment and Connectivity

Posted by Communications on 9/14/2017

More than 5,400 Phoenix Union freshmen will receive equipment and connectivity as part of the Sprint Foundation’s 1Million Project this year.  The students who qualify, based on income and not currently having internet at home, will receive either a smartphone or hot spot, and 3GB of high-speed data per month for up to four years while they are in high school. 

Sprint and the District kicked off the project, September 13 at Central High School with selected students from 17 schools, joined by Sprint executives, Superintendent Chad Gestson and Mayor Greg Stanton.  The students received their devices and had them activated during the event.  Each campus has, or will facilitate its own large-scale distribution and activation plan for its freshmen.

Phoenix Union is one of only three school districts in Arizona to take part in this project, which will impact more than 180,000 students in 1,300 schools across 30 states.  The project will continue for five years, so that each year, freshmen will be equipped devices and free connectivity, until one million students are served.   

According to research, five-million U.S. families with school aged children do not have internet access at home, but 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires web access, creating a “homework gap.”

“This partnership will help us close not only the digital divide, but also the digital homework gap,” Gestson said.   “It is an honor to be selected among the first school districts in the nation to participate in a program that will benefit students at no cost to the District.  We look forward to building this program, one incoming grade at a time, connecting all students who choose to attend a PUHSD school.”

Sprint, the Sprint Foundation and Phoenix Union High School District are demonstrating how business and education can work together to help close the digital divide,” Greg Post, Sprint Mountain Southwest Regional President said.

The free devices with service to 5,400 PUHSD students is a donation valued at $3.7 million in the first year alone.