OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, in an event with President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son joined other leaders in the technology and telecommunications industry in announcing its in-kind support of the White House ConnectED initiative, a public and private effort to get technology into classrooms and into the hands of teachers and students.
Beginning Sept. 1, 2014, Sprint (NYSE:S) will begin a four-year commitment to provide wireless broadband connectivity for 50,000 low-income K-12 students across the U.S. With access to high-speed broadband, students can obtain more rigorous and engaging classes, new learning resources, rich visualizations of complex concepts and instruction in any foreign language.
“Sprint is honored to be a part of this dynamic White House program,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “This initiative will build on the efforts of today’s most innovative tech companies to help make our nation’s children better students, problem solvers, creative thinkers, and future leaders, while also training teachers to effectively use mobile technologies to improve student outcomes and prepare them for a competitive workforce.”
Masayoshi Son, chairman of Sprint and the founder, CEO and chairman of SoftBank Corp., added, “We are incredibly proud to be part of the team that is bringing innovative technology solutions to the U.S. education sector. ConnectED’s commitment to bringing high-speed Internet to America’s students is a clear fit with SoftBank’s mission to help people around the world improve their lives through increased access to information. We are passionate about delivering next-generation wireless Internet to U.S. consumers, and this partnership demonstrates our commitment to making this happen for all.”
Sprint’s record of providing unique digital literacy and educational opportunities
Sprint has a long history of supporting initiatives that use innovative technologies, services and devices to enhance educational opportunities through its Project Connect ProgramSM, which is funded through a charitable phone-recycling program for Sprint customers and the general public.
Project Connect funds programs that teach digital literacy and Internet safety skills to young people and their parents, helping them succeed in today’s connected world. Some of these programs include:
- 4NetSafetyTM: With more teens using online services, including social media sites, it is more important than ever to understand the potential risks that come with navigating an expansive online world. Sprint is a longtime advocate of seeing that families and educators have free and easy access to educational resources to keep kids safer and has donated more than $5 million to Internet safety initiatives since 2007.
- The Oakland Military Academy: With a $100,000 Project Connect grant, Sprint provided 130 laptops, wireless service and technology support to enable all sixth-grade students and their teachers at Oakland Military Institute in Oakland, Calif. to claim a richer learning experience that spans the “digital divide.” The mission of this program is to provide a technology-rich environment where students have access to a laptop computer and data connectivity over a two-year timeframe to support a thriving learning community.
- Academie Lafayette: Sprint awarded a $75,000 Project Connect grant to support the Technology Program at Academie Lafayette, a total immersion French language school in Kansas City, Mo., for grades K-8 with a current enrollment of 785 students. With all core subjects taught in French, the goal is to produce eighth-grade graduates who can speak French with native-like proficiency, ready for the best college preparatory curriculum available. Sprint provided laptops and tablets to enable students to develop skills and knowledge to use technology appropriately and effectively, particularly enhancing their access to French instructional materials.
Urban and rural schools benefiting from Sprint’s high-speed wireless broadband and mobile devices
Additionally, each year the company provides approximately $24 million in cost-free wireless services and devices to thousands of elementary and secondary schools across the U.S., including:
- Emporia Christian School, Emporia, Kan.
- Kingman Unified School District, Kingman, Ariz.
- St. Louis Public Schools, St. Louis, Mo.
- Suncoast Primary School, Vero Beach, Fla.
Currently, across the nation, students using these devices use more than 700 terabytes of data per month, at no cost to the students or schools.
SoftBank also has a long history of contributing to society and individuals in need through various charitable giving and CSR initiatives in areas such as Internet safety, youth development and disaster relief. Recognizing the importance of its position as a leading Internet company, SoftBank engages in a number of initiatives designed to promote child Internet safety on mobile devices, including through supporting educational activities that improve Internet literacy and safety and conducting campaigns to raise awareness around Internet security issues. SoftBank is also very committed to youth development, as demonstrated by its partnership with the University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology and others to study ways to utilize mobile devices to facilitate learning and social participation of children with cognitive or communication impairments, as well as its continuing support for the U.S.-Japan Council led TOMODACHI Initiative, through which SoftBank fully funds the sending of Japanese high school students from the disaster-affected prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima to the University of California, Berkeley for three weeks each summer to study global leadership, development and community service.
Sprint (NYSE:S) offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served more than 54 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.