Kosierowski: $480,000 awarded to help students stay connected

Dollars to fund technology devices for Riverside School District

Grant funding of $480,000 will help ensure students in the Riverside School District have the technology tools needed to stay connected to the internet.

“It’s important our children are given every opportunity to reach their academic potential,” Kosierowski said. “Today’s digital divide can be better bridged because of investments like this, investments that ensure all students, regardless of economic status, can equally compete in today’s modern academic realm.” 

Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, said the money was awarded via the Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund and is considered the largest effort in the nation’s history to ensure school-aged children have access to the digital technology and important educational resources needed for the school year. The program also helps libraries offer patrons internet connectivity and digital devices to continue their learning at home.

According to Kosierowski, 126 applicants, including 86 school districts, 29 schools and 11 libraries, were awarded $20.5 million. Of the total, $15.7 million will be used for equipment and $4.9 million will be directed to securing internet service. Additional funding from the first and second ECF application cycles will be released weekly until all applications have been reviewed. 

Applications for the second round of this program are being accepted until Wednesday, Oct. 13. During the application filing window, eligible schools, libraries and consortia of eligible schools and libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. Those who applied for the first round and have additional unmet needs are eligible to reapply.

More about the awards can be found here

Eligible applicants should apply at www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org.