Centene has partnered with AT&T, Connected Nation, Dell Technologies and Intel to help reduce the digital gap among youngsters by providing foster agencies in Florida and Missouri better access to the Internet. Centene and the other organizations donated over 1,000 computers and 2,200 hotspots under the K-12 Digital Divide Program.
The Digital Divide refers to the economic, educational and social disparities that exist between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not. The program, which is hoped will have a positive influence on the general welfare of the youth, was necessary during the pandemic since computers and internet connectivity were essential for routine activities, such as attending school or visiting the doctor.
Mylayna Albright, AVP, Corporate Social Responsibility, AT&T, commented: “This program brings together major players in the health and technology industries to ensure foster youth can access important digital resources that address physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”
The K-12 Digital Divide Program is a project that aims to provide foster kids with much-needed internet connectivity for schoolwork, telehealth, mental health, online tutoring, job searches and other everyday tasks. The five companies have delivered Dell Chromebooks and Wi-Fi-enabled hotspots to foster care agencies as part of this project. The foster care institutions will determine which children are most in need of the computers. These devices feature online productivity apps and communication capabilities, allowing the kids to utilize them for education as well as telehealth visits if necessary.
“This program addresses a critical need for children who are already facing unique challenges and difficulties,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. “By providing youth who are in foster care with the tools they need to take part in our increasingly digital world, we are not only giving them the access to resources that will help them grow in a positive way and flourish, but we are saying to these children that we care about and want to help them excel.”