Facebook is donating $60,000 to Sumner County Schools to provide technology equipment that will improve student Internet connectivity across the school district.

The grant will be used to help close the digital divide in rural areas by expanding a wireless initiative for underserved areas in the county with the purchase of WiFi hotspots, adaptors and expanders. The plan includes improving connectivity, resiliency and reach of the Sumner County network to enhance the learning experience for students.

“The pandemic has shown us that we need to expand our technology reach and our capacity for digital learning,” Sumner County Schools Assistant Director for Information Services Chris Brown said in a press statement. “It’s critical that Sumner County students have access to the Internet, even in areas where service is not provided. Giving rural areas access to the Internet is vital to ensure these students do not fall behind. We are grateful to Facebook for helping us in our efforts.”

Since April 2020, Sumner County Schools has provided free Internet access at specific locations for students and families throughout the county to better serve the community and to allow students and parents without home Internet access to view and use the online educational resources that the school system has made available. The $60,000 grant from Facebook will support those efforts.

“This donation will make a significant impact on our ability to equip our students with the skills and knowledge our children need to be successful,” Sumner County Schools Director Del Phillips said. “Great teachers, parents and community partners lay the foundation for success. We are grateful for the generosity and vision of Facebook and look forward to a successful partnership.”

Facebook announced in 2020 that Gallatin would be home to the newest advanced, energy- and water-efficient data center in its global network.

“We are thrilled to support students in Sumner County Schools with technology that improves Internet connectivity to expand their opportunities to learn, grow and explore,” said Katie Comer, community development regional manager for Facebook. “Gallatin is our home, and we are committed to playing a positive role and investing in the community’s long-term vitality.”

— Submitted

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