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Initial funds provided by the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City; 25 area school districts and charters still need devices


[Kansas City, MO.]  SchoolSmartKC, a Kansas City based education non-profit, announced a new fund today that will help students gain access to the technology they need to successfully continue schooling this fall. The founding of the KC Schools Technology and Connectivity Access Fund comes after important research done by LEANLAB Education revealed that there are still 25 school districts and charter school systems facing a need for laptop computers and internet hotspots in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.

SchoolSmartKC funded $1.1 million in emergency funding for technology for students in April this year, and this next step is aimed at creating technological sustainability for schools and students as part of their long-term success.

“SchoolSmartKC’s mission for the last three years has been closing the achievement gap for students in Kansas City by removing obstacles to their success” Awais Sufi, CEO of SchoolSmartKC said, “however, it became readily apparent in the last five months that inequities exist in the availability of needed technology and internet access to support remote and blended learning approaches. . It’s important that we do what we can to remove these barriers for all children in Kansas City.”

The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, and several of its members, have made a founding contribution for devices for K-12 students as part of the organization’s continued commitment to advance inclusive prosperity. Civic Council members supporting the effort include AT&T, DeBruce Foundation, Husch Blackwell, Lead Bank, US Bank, Madeleine McDonough, and Steve Edwards.

“A quality education is critical for our young people to access economic opportunity,” said Steve Edwards, chair of the Civic Council. “With the current pandemic increasingly forcing educational instruction online, having an adequate device and a broadband connection to the internet are absolutely essential to achieve an inclusive and equitable future for our region.”

The KC Schools Technology and Connectivity Access Fund is seeking donations to eliminate this technology need for 95% of high-poverty students in the KC metro. Applications for this funding are available through SchoolSmartKC’s website for school districts that serve over 50% free and reduced-price lunch students. Initial awards will be made at the end of August.

For more information on this fund, including how to make a deductible charitable donation in support of its aims or apply for support, visit our web page.

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