Thu. May 26th, 2022

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For National Digital Inclusion Week, which concludes Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti distributed Chromebooks and WiFi hosts to South Los Angeles students and their families.

“Nothing should stand between our youth and access to resources, opportunities and a great education,” Garcetti said Friday. “In Los Angeles, we are committed to closing the digital divide and ensuring that all Angelenos have reliable Internet service.”

According to the mayor’s office, 10% of Angeleno’s internet access is lacking in their homes, and black and Latin families are a third more likely to have internet in their homes compared to white households. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closures of schools and offices stressed the need for equal access to reliable and affordable internet.

In December 2020, the Los Angeles Mayoral Foundation and T-Mobile launched a partnership — the Angeleno Connectivity Trust — to provide 18,000 WiFi hotspots to K-12 students. About 13,000 hotspots have been distributed through the program so far, and the Los Angeles Public Library will distribute another 200 hotspots, the mayor’s office said Friday.

The Angeleno Connectivity Trust program focuses on providing Internet access to students experiencing homelessness, children in nursing homes, the disabled, vulnerable youth, and people who dropped out of school or stopped attending due to technological constraints.

The distribution event on Friday was in collaboration with the Los Angeles Public Library, Human IT, Pillars to Prosperity Impact and SoLa Impact. The event distributed 120 laptops to students and residents of SoLa Impact’s low-cost housing communities, and the refurbished Google Chromebooks include a one-year warranty and technical support from Human IT.

“We believe that access to technology is a right, not a privilege. It is what gives people the opportunity to study externally, apply for jobs, participate in medical schemes online, get in touch with the family and explore new ideas and perspectives, ”says Gabe Middleton, CEO of Human-IT. “We can achieve digital equality through partnerships between local communities and organizations that work together to create solutions to today’s challenges. We are proud to be able to donate 120 laptops today to help these students start the school year with access to online opportunities. ”

People can find free and inexpensive internet options and devices by visiting the city’s Get Connected website at getconnectedlosangeles.lacity.org.

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