Two Danville companies team up to provide free internet to students

Reopening Schools in Arkansas

DANVILLE, Ark. – Schools are offering several options when it comes to learning this year, in school, online or a combination of both. Danville Public Schools didn’t know how they would offer an online option because many of their students don’t have access to internet. That all changed once word started getting around.

Danville Public Schools is prepping for the fall semester, but making the transition online wasn’t exactly easy for this district. Amanda White is a high school english teacher and mother of a high school student. Their household was missing a key element for taking the lesson plans virtual.

“When you have to pay rent, buy food that’s a lot more important than having internet access. Where do we go from here,” White said.

That luxury is now a necessity many families just don’t have.

“We had a lot of students that were in that situation,” White said.

According to Superintendent Gregg Grant, at least 50 households in the district don’t have internet access.

“I just don’t know what the answer would’ve been,” Grant said.

Luckily two companies stepped up with those answers. Chambers Bank decided they will provide routers to each family, while Arkwest Communications is providing the internet connection.

“We know what an important part of the community the school is,” Chambers Bank Southern Regional President Philip Alexander said

“As a matter of fact it was an automatic yes. We just feel that as a good neighbor this is something we should do,” Arkwest Communications President Tom May said.

As for White, she’s already working on her assignments for the fall and most if not all are going to be digital.

“We’re making our lessons and designing our lessons to where that we can switch to a digital platform at anytime if we need to,” White said.

She says the biggest thing this service will provide, continuing the strong connection with her students who are outside the classroom.

“Just the checking in on them. Having the communication opportunity,” White said.

Danville hasn’t gotten an estimate of how many students are going strictly virtual this year but they are trying to make it as close to the classroom setting as possible.

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