Over 15,000 children’s homes surprised with free Wi-Fi amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Over 15,000 student households in five school districts were gifted with free internet connectivity this morning, as many children struggle with online learning due to unreliable Wi-Fi amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Good Morning America,” revealed the surprise today to students attending five public school districts located in Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania, Jackson, Mississippi, Baltimore, Maryland, Santa Fe, New Mexico and South Bend, Indiana. They will now have five years of free internet connection in their homes, thanks to T-Mobile’s Project 10Million–a program that aims to eventually get free Wi-Fi to 10 million students’ households in the US.

“It means a lot to the community–to narrow the gap, for students to have the opportunity to have internet access at home. It’s amazing,” said Shawn Henderson, principal of Riley High School in South Bend. “We’re blessed, thank you.”

Of the 50 million children learning remotely, between 15 and 16 million lack adequate internet connectivity, according to the Center for Democracy and Technology. As a result, many students have turned to fast food restaurants or school parking lots to access online classes.

In Jackson, where school administrators are dealing with the challenges of online learning, Errick Greene, Superintendent of Jackson Public Schools told “Good Morning America” that about 25 percent of students are not connected through the internet.

Learn more about ways to help teachers on Donors Choose.

The digital divide has been present even before the pandemic hit, with many households without internet access due to racial, economic and geographic inequalities.

“There’s a lot of barriers, infrastructure barriers, cost barriers and just barriers in general to getting people connected,” said Brett Slezak, Supervisor of Technology at Allegheny Valley School in Pennsylvania.

In Baltimore, 20,000 families were without access to broadband, which is equivalent to 40,000 students.

And in indigenous communities in New

The Chevy Trailblazer completely surprised me with its combination of technology and a small yet punchy engine

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a car parked in a parking lot: The Chevy Trailblazer combines high-tech with snazzy styling. Matthew DeBord/Insider


© Matthew DeBord/Insider
The Chevy Trailblazer combines high-tech with snazzy styling. Matthew DeBord/Insider

  • I tested a 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, with all-wheel-drive in the well-optioned Activ trim.
  • The as-tested price was $32,350, but the vehicle can be had for $19,000, base.
  • The Trailblazer borrows some snazzy design cues from the larger Chevy Blazer. These set it apart from the competition, which includes compact crossovers from Kia, Mazda, and Honda.
  • The Trailblazer has two engine and transmission options. My tester had a 155-horsepower, turbocharged, three-cylinder powerplant that offered nice punch at lower speeds, but that was slow to 60 mph and not as easy on gas as I thought it would be.
  • What sets the Trailblazer apart from the competition is a suite of technology features, ranging from infotainment to wifi connectivity to driver-assist, that are enviable in a budget package.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

I really wasn’t sure about the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer going into a week-long test of the small crossover SUV. This is not your father’s Trailblazer, and in this case, I’m the father who remembers the nameplate from a larger, truck-based SUV that was discontinued in the mid-2000s. I was expecting a basic, entry-level crossover, easy on gas but nothing too impressive otherwise. 

Instead, I enjoyed a nifty little SUV with compelling exterior styling, fully loaded with industry-leading infotainment and connectivity systems.



a car parked on the side of a road: The white floating roof added some panache. Matthew DeBord/Insider


© Matthew DeBord/Insider
The white floating roof added some panache. Matthew DeBord/Insider

The best way to think about the Trailblazer is not as a blazer of trails, but as an ambler of suburban roads that borrows its design inspiration from the new Chevy Blazer — which is also questionable as a blazer of trails, but is an excellent SUV interpretation of the Camaro.

That makes the Trailblazer is a subcompact muscle-car SUV, except