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Internet home connections & hot-spots to be distributed to more than 1700 South Bend students

According to survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 30 percent of South Bend households...
According to survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 30 percent of South Bend households lacked a broadband subscription of any kind.(WNDU)
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - In an unprecedented effort to distribute more than 1,000 home internet connections and WiFi hot-spots to more than 1700 South Bend Students, city and school officials are doing whatever they can to, yet again, expand broadband.

“We are providing internet connections through City Wide Classroom South Bend, through a partnership with the City of South Bend, and enFocus to our most needy students,” Patrick Stalvey, SBCSC Chief Technology Officer, said at a press conference outside Conquillard Elementary School Monday afternoon.

According to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 30 percent of South Bend households lacked a broadband subscription of any kind.

“That’s a pretty high number, higher than the national average. That’s something we are monitoring as a community because we want to see that number decrease,” City of South Bend Chief Innovation Officer Denise Linn Riedl says.

Conquillard Elementary School Principal Dr. Antoine Reed says he also wants to see the number of students with internet increase, and class engagement improve.

“It is really hard to reach a math lesson when half way through the lesson, you are knocked off because you are borrowing internet service. This partnership means a lot to our community, it means a lot to our students. We needed this service,” Reed says.

It is a service that enFocus Director of Research and Development Gillian Shaw says is eligible to any South Bend student who qualifies for free or reduced lunch.

“If you don’t have internet in your home, please reach out to your school, ask for your access team leader, and they will assist you through the process,” Shaw says.

City and school officials say they will be working to connect as many families as possible before the end of the school year and encourage parents to visit www.citywideclassroomsb.org to apply.

Families that lack internet access can contact administrators at their student’s school to inquire about eligibility to receive equipment.

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