Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings and Mayor James Mueller announce plans for GEER Grant

Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings and Mayor James Mueller announce plans for GEER Grant
Posted on 09/09/2020

South Bend Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings and City of South Bend Mayor James Mueller announced today their plans for the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) grant.

Totaling more than $1,600,000, the funding will provide home internet or cellular internet for two full years to the city’s most at-risk families. To measure local technology needs, SBCSC partnered with the City of South Bend and enFocus to conduct a thorough data analysis of the local digital divide as it relates to local infrastructure, internet adoption, and device availability. The study showed that at-home broadband adoption remains at about 70%, leaving almost 30% of households unconnected. The studies also showed that an estimated 4,000 SBCSC students need equitable opportunities for connectivity, which the GEER grant will help provide.

Through partnerships with Comcast and PCs for People, the grant will provide discounted broadband connection and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. Comcast will supply a total of 2,000 Internet Essentials (IE) packages to SBCSC student households. IE includes an internet modem and router for the household to be connected to the internet for a nominal monthly fee. Any students who receive free or reduced lunch or whose parents are unemployed are eligible for this program. The partnership with PCs for People complements the IE opportunity by providing 2,000 Wi-Fi hotspots and annual packages to students in need. The GEER fund also will expand the SBCSC School Bus Wi-Fi Program to equip 100 additional SBCSC school buses with Wi-Fi.

Contact: Susan Guibert, Chief Communications Officer, [email protected].