Copper Valley Telecom and Copper River School District were awarded a $5,000 Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge Grant that will provide basic Internet access for some low income students during the 2015/2016 school year. The grant is provided by NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, a national organization that supports telecommunication and broadband services in rural America.
CVT and CRSD first offered scholarships during the 2014/2015 school year to assist students who would otherwise have been unable to utilize the school district's Edgenuity on-line learning platform from their homes. The program funded Internet subscriptions for four families for the nine months of the school year. Parents of these students worked with the principals to identify a need for the scholarships and provided proof of eligibility for the federal Lifeline program administered by CVT.
According to Michael Johnson, CRSD's Superintendent, eLearning expands the number of courses available for K-12 students. "For example, due to our small size, we would not be able to offer foreign language courses. We have students taking Spanish, French, Chinese, and even Latin. Students are also taking vocational education courses that align with their interests and long-term career goals," Johnson said.
Shilah Butler, CVT's Senior Manager of Affiliate Operations, said, "The Collaboration Grant has allowed us to expand the reach of the benefits of our company's DSL Internet service into homes that were previously unserved. We're pleased to be able to participate in the school district's efforts to use technology to improve our communities."
For more information about the Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge Grant, see www.ntca.org/smart. For more information about the Copper River School District's Internet scholarship program, contact Michael Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 822-3234.
For more information on the Smart Rural Community Award, visit the NTCA website.
Copper Valley Telecom was featured in a TelcoAmericana.org article and
in an NTCA video on Smart Rural Communities