Main Street Nashville

MNPS program provides technology, internet access for families

The Nashville Public Education Foundation, Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Enterprise Center and Google Fiber are partnering to bring technology, internet access and education to MNPS families through a program called Tech Goes Home.

The program launched at Madison Middle School in early November, and NPEF plans to launch it in up to four additional schools throughout the school year with continued support from Google Fiber.

Upon completion of the program, participating families receive a free laptop and home Wi-Fi. NPEF used the district’s equity roadmap to determine the communities that would benefit most from the program and worked with MNPS’ Community Achieves program to recruit families to participate.

Tech Goes Home includes four sessions facilitated by Dr. Chris Nelms, a learning technology specialist with MNPS, that focus on computer operating basics, establishing security settings and accessing MNPS apps and portals, so families can better engage with their student’s learning.

“It is vital that we not only get technology into the hands of our students and families, but we provide them with education and coaching that will contribute to success in and out of the classroom,” said Michelle Springer, MNPS chief of student support services.

Through a survey of all MNPS students, data shows only half of MNPS students have access to a device, and only two-thirds have reliable access to the internet to use for home learning, leaving a significant gap of thousands of students with neither a device nor connectivity.

Tech Goes Home is the latest development in NPEF’s ongoing work to reduce inequities in Nashville’s public schools. During the surge of the coronavirus pandemic and schools moving to virtual learning, NPEF partnered with MNPS and other community organizations to address the digital divide by providing technology and expanding wireless internet access, so students could participate in distanced learning.

The program is available throughout Tennessee through The Enterprise Center.

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