One Economy, Cricket Communications Inc., Google and Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, have teamed up with the San Diego County Office of Education and Computers 2 SD Kids to provide refurbished computers and wireless Internet to 220 families participating in the Migrant Education program throughout San Diego county as part of Project Unlimited Access.
The Migrant Education program is federally funded and authorized through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and it is designed to provide supplementary educational and support services through collaboration with school districts and other community agencies to maximize the potential of migrant students. Working closely with parents, each district designs its own plan of services in order to provide the most effective program possible, ensure equitable opportunities and increase graduation rates.
With a grant from Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative and contributions from One Economy, Cricket Communications, Google, Computers 2 SD Kids and the San Diego County Office of Education, Project Unlimited Access has been able to provide a total of 470 families throughout San Diego County with computers and wireless Internet service.
This public-private effort is the final of three phases for Project Unlimited Access. The first phase was conducted with low-income families in Washington, D.C. The two final phases are San Diego-based projects, the first of which was aiding underserved families who have elementary or middle school students enrolled within the Santee school district.
The second phase of the San Diego rollout has focused on migrant students. Many migrant families move to find new employment because of the uncertain economy affected by supply and demand and climate. The patterns of migration are well established for states such as California, where families travel the length of the West Coast throughout the agricultural picking season. In the process of moving, children’s schooling is often interrupted, presenting enormous challenges for students to benefit from and have full access to base curriculum and school services. Additionally, many migrant students have limited English proficiency skills which sometimes result in low academic performance and increased dropout rates.
“The Migrant Education Program is deeply grateful to all the alliance partners for helping bridge the digital divide for this worthy population of students,” said E. Sheli Silva, executive director of the Migrant Education Program for San Diego County. “Without the opportunity provided by the alliance partners, these students would have no means to access this wonderful resource.”
Cricket, as part of this project, is providing broadband modems and service as part of its Cricket Broadband service, which offers unlimited high-speed wireless Internet access at an affordable flat rate, enabling customers to send e-mail, surf the Web and download music, video and more - all from their laptop or desktop computer. In addition, this connectivity provides families and students with the ability to continue to access Migrant Education programs and services such as: conducting research for school assignments; obtaining information about universities, scholarships and jobs; submitting applications; taking SAT test preparation lessons; and accessing district portals for parent information. Intersession and summer programs also can be accessed including: academic tutoring; preschool readiness; Cyber High for making up credit deficiencies; Reading Is Fundamental (RIF); and Parent Education programs.
“We believe that everyone should have home access to the treasure trove of information that the Internet provides, but we know that sometimes it’s out of reach for some people,” said Bill Ingram, senior vice president, strategy for Cricket Communications. “Our broadband product has enabled Cricket to partner with like-minded organizations across the country to attack the Digital Divide by bringing technology and access to the people who need it most, and we are happy to report that we’re helping to raise the level of digital literacy among the recipients.”
This initiative provides the benefits of computers and Internet service to not just the individual student, but family members as well. Parent education is a key component to student success, and both the Santee School District and the Migrant Education program will use this access in their technology-based educational initiatives, which include parent training and parent engagement programs. In addition, an impact study funded by Wireless Reach and implemented by One Economy, the Santee School District and the Migrant Education program will measure the positive impact this new access to online resources and training will have on students and their families.
“Students with only limited access to the Internet are disadvantaged compared to those who have the means to access the Internet anywhere and anytime. This project demonstrates the benefits of 21st century technology and the importance of ensuring it is made available to everyone,” said Kristin Atkins, director for Qualcomm Government Affairs. “Qualcomm believes that mobile broadband is a key tool for enabling digital equity. We are pleased to be working with the San Diego County Office of Education to enable access to educational resources for underserved families.”
“A connected learning environment — 24/7 access to online resources and information — is essential for educational achievement today,” said Alan Greenlee, vice president of national programs, One Economy Corporation. “Through this partnership, regardless of how often families move, students and parents can continue to receive online resources and actively engage with teachers to increase educational outcomes.”
The circumstances of migrant students and their families is both a local and national concern as students move to new schools, have new teachers, use different curriculum and textbooks and attempt to access resources in a new community. It is well understood that multiple relocations contribute to the interruption of a migrant child’s education and, through this program, wireless broadband can play a key role in providing access to these students – in San Diego County and beyond.
About One Economy
One Economy is a global non-profit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 17 million people have used One Economy's online tools and resources to build better lives. Learn more at www.one-economy.com. To date, One Economy has launched on-the-ground programs in 42 U.S. states, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Cricket is the pioneer of simple and affordable unlimited wireless services with no long-term commitments or credit checks required serving more than four million customers in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Cricket offers wireless voice and broadband Internet services over the latest technology, high-quality, all-digital 3G CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO wireless network. Cricket’s wireless voice service plans include unlimited anytime minutes, unlimited U.S. long distance, unlimited text and picture messaging, unlimited text to Mexico, unlimited Mobile Web, unlimited directory assistance, as well as a variety of calling features and feature-rich mobile applications such as popular games, ringtones and wallpapers. Cricket Broadband provides unlimited Internet access anywhere within Cricket’s coverage areas at speeds comparable to DSL. For more information on Cricket, visit www.mycricket.com. Cricket is offered by Leap Wireless International, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information on Leap, visit www.leapwireless.com.
Leap is a U.S. registered trademark and the Leap logo is a trademark of Leap. Cricket, Jump, the Cricket “K” and Flex Bucket are U.S. registered trademarks of Cricket. In addition, the following are trademarks or service marks of Cricket: Cricket By Week, Cricket Choice, Cricket Connect, Cricket Nation and Cricket PAYGo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach™ initiative is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. For more information please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. For more information, visit Qualcomm around the Web:
Corporate Blog: www.qualcomm.com/blog