SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VA — Spotsylvania County Public Schools partnered with renewable energy company sPower and other companies and organizations on creating 16 mobile hotspots for the new school year.
In July, sPower issued a challenge grant to fund five mobile hotspots and worked to raise funds for an additional five. Akamai Technologies, Etsy and Kimley-Horn, which are three of sPower’s partners in the Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center, supported the effort.
The Spotsylvania Education Foundation donated funds for one mobile hotspot, and Atlantic Builders donated funds for five mobile hotspots. Since July, individual donors have contributed more than $1,000 toward the effort, the public schools system said.
“We greatly appreciate the support of our community partners and especially thank sPower and Atlantic Builders who have taken the lead in this initiative by supporting five mobile hotspots each,” Dr. S. Scott Baker, SCPS superintendent, said Monday in a statement.
Based on current data, the division estimates that about 21 percent of students have connectivity needs and additional support may be needed to help ensure students have access to WiFi for distance learning.
“Too many homes in Spotsylvania County are without Internet and we are happy to do our part to help close that gap for the upcoming school year,” said Tom Schoedel, president of Atlantic Builders.
In addition to signage on the mobile hotspot itself, all donors will be recognized on the Spotsylvania Education Foundation’s website for their donations. One of the biggest issues facing the school system’s students this fall is the ability to access the Internet. This is one way to make sure that barrier is reduced, according to Angie Sullivan, executive director of the Spotsylvania Education Foundation.
Spotsylvania County Public Schools serve about 24,000 students. The school division is composed of 17 elementary schools, seven middle schools, five high schools, the Spotsylvania Career and Technical Education Center, and the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center.
“As a partner of sPower’s in the Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center, we are proud to join this effort to help close the digital divide for students in Spotsylvania County and helping them to have internet access during this unprecedented time,” Mike Mattera, director of corporate Sustainability at Akamai Technologies, said in a statement.