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Intel Launches Expanded Initiative to Help Underserved Students, School Districts Overcome COVID-19 Barriers

Intel Education 2Intel has convened a partnership group with First Book to launch the Creating Learning Connections Initiative, which is designed to fuel education by supporting students in Title I-eligible school districts affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program gives underserved students and educators access to critical tools and resources, including internet connectivity, technology devices and hands-on STEAM learning solutions. Additional partners involved in the initiative include CDW-G, LEGO® Education and the LEGO Foundation.

Recently, First Book released the results of a nationwide survey that shows 40% of children in the United States do not have reliable internet and almost 40% are without access to functioning devices. The closure of schools in response to the pandemic exacerbated an existing crisis in education for children in poverty, millions of whom do not have access to tools and resources that enable virtual learning.

As part of the initiative, Intel and CDW-G are providing a total of $5 million in personal computers, software, configuration services and digital learning resources. They are also providing stipends of $4,000 to each awarded district to set up home internet connectivity for kids in need. Underserved students in 17 states will receive support with nearly 15,000 devices being delivered to 45 school districts.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated the technology and educational inequities in communities of need. Now more than ever, it is critical that we come together with partners to combine our unique assets and capabilities to ensure that students have access to a meaningful virtual learning experience,” said Brian Gonzalez, senior director, Global Partnerships and Initiatives, Governments, Markets and Trade Group at Intel. “Earlier this year, we pledged $50 million with our Pandemic Response Technology Initiative, which included supporting online learning initiatives like this.”

The grant application process ran May 19 through June 5. Recipients have been notified and will work with First Book, Intel, CDW-G, LEGO® Education and the LEGO Foundation to identify the families and resources needed. Schools that were not selected will receive $500 from Intel for use at the First Book Marketplace to purchase new, high-quality books and educational resources for their students.

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