One third of kids in Brooklyn don’t have access to the internet in their home and the city is looking to change that.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced on Thursday that the city, in partnership with with library systems, Google and Sprint, will offer FREE Wi-Fi hotspots to underserved public school students and their families. The initiative will allow parents to borrow Wi-Fi hotspots from one of the 46participating library branches, for up to a year at a time.
“Children who cannot use the internet to work on school projects are at risk of falling behind in the classroom, while adults from unconnected households often face challenges in finding satisfying, well-paid employment,” Fariña said in a statement.
In order to borrow one of the 5,000 hotspots, an adult must have at least one child in the public schools system, no internet at home, a fine-free library card and attend a “lending event” at one of the participating branches.
In Brooklyn, 16 library branches are set to participate: Brownsville, Bushwick, Canarsie, Clarendon, Crown Heights, Cypress Hills, DeKalb, Kings Bay, Macon, New Lots, Red Hook, Saratoga, Stone Avenue, Sunset Park, Walt Whitman and Washington Irving libraries. All participating branches across the city are all located near Department of Education (DOE) Community Schools and primarily in disadvantaged neighborhoods with low internet connectivity.
Lending events begin Saturday, October 1. Parents interested in the program can stop by their local participating branch for assistance.