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Verizon gives iPads to five schools




Verizon has distributed computer tablets to students at five CMSD PreK-8 schools as part of a nationwide effort to expand digital access.

Students in middle grades received free devices and internet access through the Verizon Innovative Learning initiative. The schools are Almira, Miles Park, Patrick Henry, Wade Park and Whitney M. Young.

In all, 980 students received iPads and internet service that will help them with remote or blended learning. Verizon’s total investment in Cleveland students, including CMSD and Breakthrough Schools, as part of the Verizon Innovative Learning program is more than $14.4 million. Verizon announced the gift to CMSD earlier this year.

"We are thrilled to welcome these Cleveland schools to our Verizon Innovative Learning program,” said Nia Mathis, Verizon regional vice president of state government affairs. “Too many young people in Cleveland are lacking the connectivity, technology and skills required for success in today’s digital economy.”

Based on Census data, the National Data Inclusion Alliance says Cleveland ranked as the worst connected large city in the country in 2019. According to last year’s American Community Survey, about 31 percent of households in the city were without broadband access, and 46 percent lacked a wired connection.

CEO Eric Gordon thanked Verizon for its generous assistance in helping bridge Cleveland’s digital divide. The District purchased and distributed thousands of devices and hotspots to make sure every student has access for remote learning.

Almira Principal Jim Greene said getting the tablets allowed his school to shift devices to students in lower grades. He said the iPads "have been working out great."

"And not just for the schoolwork," he said. "It opens them up to the world. They get to explore and learn about possible careers. That's what I love about it."

Since 2012, the Verizon Innovative Learning program has provided more than $535 million in market value towards STEM education to help infuse technology into instruction at schools nationwide.