It has been a difficult year for everyone. With the unemployment rate reaching nearly 15% percent, rapid increases in the cost of childcare, and the widening of the digital divide, families everywhere need help. As kids return to in-person learning many families, teachers, and school districts do not have the required funding to provide basic classroom necessities. That being said, T-Mobile is taking three important steps to ensure a smooth transition back to in-person learning:
1. Vital School Supplies
We are nearing the end of empty classrooms, dusty bookshelves, and quiet playgrounds. After a year of vacant schools, teachers are scrambling to refresh their out of date reading nooks and provide students key learning tools like sticky notes, pencils, and interactive games. That’s why T-Mobile is donating $1 million dollars to DonorsChoose, an organization that helps public school teachers purchase the supplies that students need to succeed. The nonprofit allows teachers to request various classroom supplies to meet their students’ needs. DonorsChoose then purchases and ships the items directly to the school. Donors can look forward to a thank you note, and see photos of their donation being used.
Founder of DonorsChoose, Charles Best, notes that “this coming school year might be the most important of our generation, and teachers will need all the encouragement we can give them as so many returns to classrooms. T-Mobile’s gift to teachers will help students start the year strong and support them during a time of readjustment.”
2. Stable Home Internet
While some students are looking forward to returning to the classroom, this last year has changed the way we live forever. The stay-at-home orders implemented in many states forced families to work and learn from home for months, relying on high-speed internet and wireless connectivity. Students are at a severe disadvantage without access to the internet or to mobile devices that allow them to do schoolwork at home. Heavy reliance on at-home internet was a significant contributor to exacerbating educational inequity in the past year. Even as we return to in-person learning, stable internet connection has become a cornerstone to educational success. To relieve some of the technological burden, T-Mobile announced the continuation of Project 10Million – the $10.7 billion initiative that will provide 10 million underserved households with free internet and mobile hotspots over the next 10 years.
“Back to school is special this year” acknowledges Jon Freier, EVP of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group. “It represents getting back to so much more that we’ve missed after a really trying year for families, teachers and students. That’s why T-Mobile is going big here to help everyone stay connected with America’s largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network.”
3. Ability to Connect with Others
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the important of staying connected whether that be to loved ones — even if they can’t be met face to face — or to our workplaces and classrooms. So, as we return to pre-pandemic life — in an effort of making any distance seem small — T-Mobile is now offering customers an iPhone 12 when they trade in a qualifying device to help ensure students stay connected to their families as they begin to leave the home more often.