Prince George's Co. high school students get connected with Sprint's '1Million Project'
OXON HILL, Md. (ABC7) —
It felt like Christmas morning at Potomac High School in Oxon Hill as students unpacked brand new cell phones and tablets.
"It's great because one, I don't have a device at home so now that I do, I can do those online assignments," said senior Keon Gilchrist.
The gifts come from Sprint as part of the newly launched "1Million Project," which seeks to close the homework divide.
"So many students go home and they don't have service at their house to do their homework right? They're trying to get hotspots and WiFi. So this allows them to go home, connect their devices and allows them to get their homework done while they're at home," said Paul Owens, Regional Marketing Manager at Sprint.
Through the "1Million Project," students in need across Prince George's County receive a free smartphone, tablet or hotspot device and three gigabytes of high-speed data per month.
And it won't just stop in the county. The "1Million Project" plans to do the same for a million students across the country for the next five years.
"Many of our students don't have to think about, 'Where's my internet coming from?' It's just there; and some of our population, unfortunately, does have to think about that," said Robert Vaccarino, English Department Chair and education technology liaison. "This lets them put that out of their head and focus on the work of learning."
"Having a tablet or a phone, whichever you may get, it allows you to do what you need to do in order to graduate," said 17-year-old Mecco Johnson.
In the 2017 school year, the initiative will reach more than 180,000 students in 30 states.