Read Fort Worth launched the DRIVE Learning Anywhere Campaign, a community appeal to ensure every Fort Worth ISD student and family has the support needed to succeed in an online learning environment. DRIVE (Devices & Resources to Impact Virtual Education) is an $850,000 campaign that combines the technology needs of students with best practices in virtual instruction to maximize the academic impact of these digital learning tools.
Facebook’s lead gift of $500,000, along with funds from FWISD, covered the purchase of 6,000 hotspot devices with annual data plan from AT&T. Read Fort Worth turns to the Fort Worth community to raise the remaining $350,000 to support student and family success in online learning.
“Read Fort Worth is proud to support Fort Worth ISD in providing all students access to virtual learning platforms through home internet, and we know that giving these tools to families is not enough,” Read Fort Worth Executive Director Elizabeth Brands said. “We must support families in how to navigate a virtual learning world.”
Health directives caused by COVID-19 resulted in school closures across Texas and shifted classroom instruction for 80,000 FWISD students to virtual platforms, making technology devices and home internet access an essential academic resource for every student. According to a FWISD technology survey, 6,000 students were in need internet access.
The FWISD Board of Education approved a measure to purchase 6,000 hotspots with an annual 3GB data plan. Local corporate partners AT&T and Facebook joined the effort to contribute technology expertise and financial support.
DRIVE is consistent with Read Fort Worth’s core value proposition to:
- Use data and research to identify areas of greatest need.
- Collect community input to inform scaling best practices.
- Mobilize cross-sector partners to implement best practices at scale.
Read Fort Worth has shifted its work in this current health crisis to respond to the most critical needs for students, including issues of inequity resulting in the digital divide that exists in Fort Worth and many urban cities. Local corporate partners AT&T and Facebook joined the effort to contribute technology expertise and financial support.
AT&T’s partnership underscores their mission to invest company resources and knowledge to advance access to education and training, improve lives, and strengthen communities around the world. With its largest data center located in Fort Worth, Facebook supports the most urgent technology needs of students in its community.
“Fort Worth is our home, and we are honored to be able to partner with the Fort Worth Independent School District and Read Fort Worth to provide immediate relief to families and students,” said Matt Sexton, Community Development Regional Manager, Facebook. “We are committed to investing in the long-term vitality of this community and we appreciate the opportunity to help the students of Fort Worth connect in a meaningful way and continue their education from home.”
For information and to donate to DRIVE, please visit: http://readfortworth.org/be-a-donor/.