Sprint's 1Million Project provide over 300 Pitt Co. students free wireless service

(Photo courtesy of MGN and Samsung)

FARMVILLE, Pitt County - Pitt County Schools and Sprint have announced that over 300 tenth grade students from across Pitt County recently received the equipment and connectivity they needed to complete their schoolwork from home as part of the 1Million Project -- for free.

The 2017-2018 school year marks the first year of Sprint's 1Million Project, which helps close the homework gap by providing free devices and wireless service to schools in need.

"Every kid has cell phones, every kid has wireless in their house but that's not the same in every house," Dr. Ethan Lenker, Pitt County Superintendent, said. "We're just trying to close the gap a little bit, every lit bit helps."

Through the 1Million Project, Sprint and the Sprint Foundation will connect one million high school students over a period of four years who do not have internet access at home. These students now have access to the technology they need to succeed in school, participate in the digital world and ultimately reach their full potential.

Each student participating in the 1Million Project will receive either a free smartphone, tablet or hotspot device and 3GB of high-speed LTE data per month to use through graduation. Unlimited data is available at 2G speeds if usage exceeds 3GB in a month. Students will be able to keep their device after they graduate from high school.

70 percent of America's high school teachers assign homework requiring online connectivity, yet more than five million families with school-aged students do not have internet connectivity at home. This leaves many students facing an enormous challenge, as they are unable to complete their homework from home or do other essential things like search for jobs or apply to college and financial aid.

Sprint piloted the program with 3,750 high school students across the nation in January 2017 through the end of the last school year. Out of those students, 865 said the 1Million Project improved their attitude toward learning and school. They also said the initiative helped them do their homework in a comfortable, convenient and safe place.

82 percent of those students also said the program positively impacted the likelihood that they will persist and graduate from high school. 80 percent said it improves the likelihood that they will continue on to pursue a college degree.

An activation fair event for the Pitt County Schools rollout of the 1Million Project was held at Farmville Central High School on Tuesday, September 19, at 9:00 a.m. in the school's Media Center. Farmville Central High students were given Samsung Galaxy J-3 Emerge devices.