Kajeet has been mission-focused on bridging the digital divide for decades, a goal that remains at the heart of all we do.
Given the challenges that the pandemic has brought over this past year and a half – and the spotlight it shone on the need for digital inclusion – we decided to relaunch and expand our past Kajeet Homework Gap Grant program to amplify the digital equity efforts of organizations across North America.
On May 4, 2021, we announced the launch of the 2021 Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grant – a program established to help organizations provide members of their community with safe, reliable access to remote learning, telehealth services, and other essential online resources. K-12 schools and districts, Tribal schools, colleges and universities, public libraries, nonprofit organizations, and city and municipal governments looking to serve their communities with equitable Internet access were invited to apply.
We received a long list of incredible applications representing so many communities and stories, making the selection process challenging (click here to view our scoring rubric). Each of our 85 grant recipients submitted outstanding applications that demonstrated a robust, measurable, and sustainable plan to positively impact the digital divide in the communities they serve.
Before we share with you the complete list of grant recipients, let’s take an overall look at who the 2021 Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grant awardees are.
Where Are the Grant Recipients Located?
The 85 grant recipients represent a diverse spread of communities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
What Types of Organizations Are Receiving the Grant?
The grant was awarded to K-12 schools and districts, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, higher education institutions, and city & municipal governments.
What Will Grant Recipients Receive?
Grant recipients will receive a free pilot program of the Kajeet digital equity solution of their choice:
Each pilot program includes hardware, a year of data on the network of choice, and access to Kajeet Sentinel®, our patented, award-winning device and data management platform.
We cannot wait to see how each of these recipients utilizes Kajeet solutions to expand access to digital tools in their communities.
Who Are the Grant Recipients?
Drumroll, please! The recipients of the 2021 Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grant are:
- The Academy for Urban Scholars (Ohio)
- The Academy for Urban Scholars High School (Ohio)
- Adelphi University (New York)
- AESC Library – NYC Department of Education (New York)
- African American Cultural Center (New York)
- Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (Ohio)
- Almagordo Public Schools (New Mexico)
- Albuquerque Bilingual Academy (New Mexico)
- Alfred H. Baumann Free Public Library (New Jersey)
- Banner Preparatory School of Milwaukee (Wisconsin)
- Berne Public Library (New York)
- Bishop State Community College (Alabama)
- Bland County Public Library (Virginia)
- Boone County Public Library (Kentucky)
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint (Michigan)
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County (Wisconsin)
- Bronson Community Schools (Michigan)
- Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering (Texas)
- Camden Dream Center Technology Training School (New Jersey)
- Cape Fear Community College (North Carolina)
- Carolina University (North Carolina)
- Carson Youth Empowerment Center (Virginia)
- Central Arkansas Library System (Arkansas)
- Christopher Columbus Educational Campus (New York)
- City of Charlotte Public Library (Texas)
- City of Rio Rancho Library and Information Services (New Mexico)
- Cocina Sin Fronteras (California)
- Community Council of Idaho (Idaho)
- Community Education Partnerships (California)
- Cumberland County Public Library (Virginia)
- David F. Cargo El Valle de Anton Chico Library (New Mexico)
- Des Moines Public Library Foundation (Iowa)
- Dominican University (Illinois)
- Dr. Nana Health Awareness, Inc. (Maryland)
- Earlimart Elementary School District (California)
- Education Francaise Bay Area (EFBA) (California)
- Essex County College (New Jersey)
- Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School (New York)
- Fairview Public School District (New Jersey)
- Franklin-McKinley School District (California)
- Geeks Without Frontiers (Texas)
- Sinai Grace Guild Community Development Cooperation (Michigan)
- Granite Public Schools (Oklahoma)
- Holden R-III School District (Missouri)
- Indiana Wesleyan University (Indiana)
- JHS 190Q – Russell Sage (NYC Department of Education) (New York)
- K&H Resource Center (South Carolina)
- Lancaster Independent School District (Texas)
- Lauderdale County School District (Mississippi)
- Little Egg Harbor School District (New Jersey)
- Mayor’s Office – City of Houston (Texas)
- Menominee County Library (Michigan)
- Million Dollar Teacher Project (Arizona)
- Moreland School District (California)
- Moriarty Community Library (New Mexico)
- Natomas Unified School District (California)
- Natrona County Library (Wyoming)
- New Holland-Middletown Ed #88 (Illinois)
- Newmarket Public Library (Ontario)
- NorthStar Foundation (Nebraska)
- Oceanside Unified School District (California)
- Owego Apalachin Central School District (New York)
- Owen County Public Library (Indiana)
- Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 (Illinois)
- Pillar College (New Jersey)
- Presentation of Mary School (Minnesota)
- Roane State Community College (Tennessee)
- Roanoke Catholic School (Virginia)
- Rockville Centre Public Library (New York)
- Roselle Public Schools (New Jersey)
- San Diego Futures Foundation (California)
- Satellite Academy High School (New York)
- Single Family Living (Michigan)
- Smyrna School District (Delaware)
- Tupper Lake Public Library (New York)
- Turner USD 202 (Kansas)
- Union County Library System (South Carolina)
- UNITE Education Foundation, Inc (North Carolina)
- United Way for Greater Austin (Texas)
- Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (Puerto Rico)
- University of Louisiana System (Louisiana) Walworth Harrison Public Library (Texas)
- Western Michigan University – College of Health and Human Services (Michigan)
- Westport Public Schools (Connecticut)
- YWCA of South Hampton Roads (Virginia)
What Do Grant Recipients Have to Say?
“Our goal is to increase affordable, high-speed, home internet access for residents in the Mayor’s 10 Complete Communities below the poverty line to 90% or higher by June 2026. Our Kajeet SmartSpot program will be a critical piece of these efforts, as we plan to distribute these WiFi hotspots to residents in need of connectivity. Our digital equity efforts will be sustained and grown through understanding Houston’s digital inclusion needs and resources, supporting the development of new strategic program alignments, and providing public education and advocacy regarding Houston’s digital divide, why it matters, and how to overcome it.”
Joshua Williams, Executive Fellow, the Mayor’s Office – City of Houston, Texas
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that connectivity and access to digital resources are essential, and that populations who lack access suffer disproportionate secondary inequities in health, employment, and other domains. The Sinai-Grace Guild serves a community that is over 90% African-American, with over 30% of residents living below the poverty line. These populations have less access to digital resources, an inequity the SGG strives to address in our programming. In piloting our digital connectivity program with community seniors – a population with significantly less digital connectivity – and striving to simplify and customize their online experience to meet their unique needs, we plan to increase our program’s organic reach as participants spread positive feedback to their neighbors. We hope, in turn, that this will enrich our community with an understanding of and desire for digital connectedness, which we will continue to facilitate. The simple, turn-key nature of the Kajeet SmartSpot makes it an ideal connectivity solution for our staff and the seniors we serve. Further, the Sentinel data management system will allow our team to make data-driven decisions in evaluating and enhancing the program for effectiveness and equity.”
Lisa Campbell, Executive Director, Sinai-Grace Guild Community Development Cooperation
“We estimate that 4 in 5 students in the communities that the Camden Dream Center serves do not have Internet access at home. Further, those that do have access must share the service with the entire household, thus creating bandwidth problems. Our Kajeet pilot program will enable us to provide a personal hotspot for students in our program, allowing these students to stay connected at home and on-the-go. This anytime, anywhere access will increase participation in our online programs and improve these students’ access to vital learning opportunities.”
Tunde Onitiri, Director of STEM Practice & CTE Consulting, Camden Dream Center Technology Training School
Over the next few months, we will highlight many of our recipient organizations and the incredible digital inclusion work they are doing in their communities. Stick around to follow along, and make sure to connect with us on social media!