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posted: 12/16/2016 9:43 AM

Program's expansion means free internet for more students

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  • Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti announced an expansion of the ConnectED program at West Leyden High School in Northlake. The program will provide free internet access to 17 schools districts in Illinois.

    Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti announced an expansion of the ConnectED program at West Leyden High School in Northlake. The program will provide free internet access to 17 schools districts in Illinois.
    Courtesy of Office of Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti

 
Daily Herald report

School districts across the suburbs, including Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54, are expected to benefit from the expansion of the ConnectED program, which provides free internet access to schools across in Illinois.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti joined officials from Sprint last week to announce the expansion, which will make free internet available to 4,200 students in the state.

"Without internet access, millions of children, especially minority students living in low-income communities, would be left behind," Sanguinetti said. "This is an important step to close the digital divide."

Joining Sanguinetti in making the announcement Tuesday at West Leyden High School in Northlake were Jim Mills, Sprint president of Illinois and Wisconsin; Nick Polyak, superintendent of the Leyden High School District; and two students from the district.

ConnectED is a White House initiative launched in 2013. Last year, Sprint provided $3 million in free broadband service. This year, Sprint expanded its donation to $8 million.

School districts that will benefit include: Northwest Suburban High School District 214, Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54, Leyden High School District 212, Maine Township High School District 207 and Kildeer Countryside District 96.