The School District of Palm Beach County’s students and teachers are benefiting from a partnership with Verizon this year, one that seeks to bridge the digital divide. Through an investment and grant contribution made to the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, teachers and students in 63 Title 1 schools will have access to the Foundation’s Red Apple Supplies Store’s first ever Digital Inclusion Section. This innovative section within Red Apple Supplies is “Powered by Verizon”. The shelves are stocked with headphones, earbuds, webcams, virtual reality goggles and other items to bridge the digital divide and support digital inclusion, thanks to Verizon.
The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County’s President/CEO, James S. Gavrilos stated, “The digital divide is real. And it is crippling the futures of so many of our youth. In Palm Beach County alone, nearly 25,000 students don’t have reliable access to the Internet. And many of these same students lack the basic tools they need to do work, when they can find a connection. Verizon’s bold commitment to the community is meeting this challenge with generosity and creativity. The Verizon Digital Inclusion Section at Red Apple Supplies will do so much more than pass out earbuds, webcams, and other material needs. The Verizon Digital Inclusion Section at Red Apple Supplies is bridging the Digital Divide…and building a bridge to the future!”
When it comes to the digital world, access is only the beginning. Verizon promotes technology as a tool to improve communities, education and the workforce. This innovative and collaborative business partnership is committed to serving the needs of the School District of Palm Beach County’s students, teachers and schools. “Verizon believes connectivity and technology should be available to all. By supporting digital inclusion initiatives, Verizon enables individuals and communities to develop the knowledge and skills to thrive in the digital age.”
On March 25, 2021, Verizon’s We Love Teachers and Digital Inclusion Section Ribbon Cutting Event took place at Red Apple Supplies providing teachers in Red Apple Supplies partner schools the opportunity to order their school supplies and digital inclusion items online then come by the store to have their vehicles loaded with the essential resources. The Digital Inclusion Section Powered by Verizon not only provides students access to headphones and microphones, it also provides experiential learning opportunities for students in schools throughout the district. Through the use of Virtual Reality Goggles, 100’s of virtual field trips from brands like NASA, National Geographic are now possible for students. Having the opportunity to engage in learning firsthand, through 360-degree videos and virtual experiences, Verizon is opening eyes, minds and imaginations by providing students opportunities to experience STEM education concepts, problem-solving and critical thinking skills all from the safety of their home or classroom, providing excitement and inspiration while engaging students in learning in an innovative way.
“I cannot thank the Education Foundation and Verizon enough for providing classroom resources that allow for digital inclusion. We serve amazing champions at Palm Beach Lakes High School and our talented, creative students love to explore…especially with technology! As a teacher at a Title 1 School serving amazing champion students, I strive to bring them the best of myself every day. Being able to provide resources like the Merge Virtual Reality Goggles to our students helps bridge the digital divide some students may have experienced in the past, as well as make learning in the classroom FUN!” stated Danielle Madsen, Palm Beach Lakes High School Teacher.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control. Verizon was the first company in the world to launch a commercial 5G mobile network with a commercially-available 5G-enabled smartphone. The company’s operating structure focuses on three customer-facing areas: Consumer, Business and Media. Citizen Verizon is the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement.
About the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County:
The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County is the nexus of Palm Beach County’s public-school system, the private sector and the community. The Foundation facilitates student achievement by supporting high quality public-education through partnerships, grants, events and public awareness. Established in 1984 by Palm Beach County business leaders, the Education Foundation serves as the philanthropic support organization for K-12 public education and partners closely with the School District of Palm Beach County and the greater business and charitable community to fund programs that close achievement gaps in learning and that create positive, measurable change for students. This is accomplished by using the funding to provide innovative classroom grants as well as providing quality professional development to foster excellence in teaching.
Through a unique matching grant program, the Education Foundation works with corporate and private investors to fund innovative projects and curriculum that improve literacy and grade-level performance, increase graduation rates, support STEM and career academies and target support to low-performing students and schools. For more information on the Education Foundation please visit EducationFoundationPBC.org