sPower Donates Challenge Grant for 5 Hotspots
SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VA— Spotsylvania County Public Schools (SCPS) today announced a wireless internet hotspot initiative for the 2020-2021 school year to increase access to broadband for online learning this fall. The school division is seeking funding for 10 wifi hotspots to be placed throughout the county. sPower has donated $17,452.05 as part of a challenge grant to cover the cost of five hotspots for the year, and is encouraging the community to help fund the cost of the remaining five.
“As we prepare for the start of the new school year, we are working to find innovative ways to ensure every student in Spotsylvania County is able to access online learning resources,” said Dr. S. Scott Baker, superintendent of Spotsylvania County Public Schools. “Broadband access is a big issue in Spotsylvania, particularly in the western part of the County. We are grateful to sPower for working with us to help make sure that every student in Spotsylvania is able to access the internet, and are hopeful that others in our community will help us meet our goal of 10 units for the school year.”
Broadband access continues to be an issue in Spotsylvania, with many county residents without access to high speed internet or cell phone reception. Spotsylvania County Public Schools is still finalizing its Return to Learn plan, and anticipates at least some measure of online learning for certain students.
The school division hopes to place 10 mobile hotspot units in place throughout the County by the start of school this Fall. The mobile hotspots provide internet access for approximately 20 devices at a time. SCPS is looking at areas that allow for families to park and access the internet from their vehicle.
“Access to the internet is a big issue as parents and students prepare for the upcoming school year,” said Cat Mosley, director of community relations for sPower. “We are thrilled to partner with Spotsylvania County Public Schools to bring wireless internet to every part of the county to help close the digital divide and reduce barriers to learning that were brought on with the global pandemic. We hope that others in the community will rally together with us to raise funds for all 10 hot spots for the school year.”
The total cost for all 10 units is $34,904.10, with the division seeking an additional $17,452.05 to cover the remaining five units. Each unit costs approximately $3,500 for the entire school year. Individuals and companies can donate any amount to help cover the cost. Companies can sponsor a semester for $1,745 or a month for $390. Businesses that donate $3,500 will have the opportunity to have their logo on the mobile hotspot. All donors will be recognized on the Spotsylvania Education Foundation’s website.
Companies interested in sponsoring all or part of a hotspot should contact René Daniels, director of communications and community engagement with Spotsylvania County Public Schools (contact information below). Individuals interested in donating funds toward a unit can donate online at Spotsylvania Education Foundation’s website: www.sef4education.org/donate/ and put “hotspot” in the notes section.
Spotsylvania County is over 400 square miles. Spotsylvania County Public Schools is the 12th largest school division in the Commonwealth of Virginia and serves approximately 24,000 students. The school division is composed of 17 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, 5 high schools, the Spotsylvania Career & Technical Education Center, and the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center.
sPower has supported education in Spotsylvania County since starting to develop its solar project in Spotsylvania, including through funding for the teacher of the year SAGE banquet, senior scholarships, a virtual career fair for students. Additionally, the company donated $200,000 to support Mary Washington Healthcare’s coronavirus response efforts, and $50,000 to the Community Foundation’s Community Relief Fund to assist area nonprofits and the Ron Rosner Family YMCA’s Childcare Relief for Essential Workers program.
About sPower: Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, sPower is a leading independent power producer (IPP) that owns and operates more than 150 renewable generation systems across the U.S. We operate a leading wind, solar and storage portfolio of nearly 2.0 GW, with 15 GW of projects under development. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), Fortune 500 global power company, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers.