Hampton, Newport News students can sign up for free Wi-Fi devices

Hampton City Schools is joining a program by Sprint that aims to put a million Wi-Fi devices in the hands of high school students.

The 1Million Project provides free Wi-Fi-enabled hotspot devices, either a smartphone, tablet or hotspot device, to give internet access for students who otherwise may not have reliable internet to do schoolwork.

It will broaden the ability for students who receive take-home Chromebooks in Hampton City Schools to fully utilize them, said Paul Lawrence, director of information literacy for HCS.

“It’s kind of the final step for us in kind of breaking down that digital divide for the kids that don’t have the same kind of resources as some of their peers,” he said. “It was sort of the last step. We give them the device and, while they’re at school they’re on equal footing with everybody, but sometimes when they get home they’re not with some of their peers where they don’t have the reliable Wi-Fi at home.”

This is the second year of the 1Million Project. Newport News Public Schools participated in the inaugural year last year, in which 118 districts across the country sent home 180,000 devices.

NNPS is participating again this year.

To sign up in Hampton, visit https://sites.google.com/hampton.k12.va.us/hcs1million. A survey asks several questions to determine eligibility, such as access to internet at home, number of users in the home and other information.

Lawrence said they plan to deliver 600 devices this year.

In Newport News, families were told about the project in April and more information will be available in August, according to a spokeswoman.

The division is working with Sprint to give out another 300 devices this fall, bringing the total number issued to just over 900.

For more information, contact Brandie Wright at brandie.wright@nn.k12.va.us or 757-881-5462, extension 12110.

Saturdays are reserved for students

In concert with its focus on encouraging community participation at all levels, the Daily Press Editorial Board invites students from Peninsula-area schools to submit letters to the editor.

Teachers are invited to plan projects over the summer or in the 2018-19 school year for classes to submit letters.

Those interested in participating are encouraged to select their own topics and express them in 250 words or fewer.

Selected submissions will appear online and in print on Saturdays.

For specific guidelines, visit dailypress.com or contact C.W. Johnson, the Daily Press opinion editor at cwjohnson@dailypress.com or 757-247-4677.

Hammond can be reached by phone at 757-247-4951 or on Twitter @byjanehammond.

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