Mobile internet access to bridge digital divide in St. Lawrence County

ABC50 NOW

PARISHVILLE, N.Y. (WWTI) — The St. Lawrence County People Project will be debuting a free mobile internet hotspot for community students and residents.

The People Project, Parishville- Hopkinton Teachers Association and Parishville- Hopkinton Central School District, will turn on the hotspot at 11 am on Tuesday July 28.

The hotspot will coincide with a free book giveaway for students, and distribution of 100 meals.

This event is the first of eight to be held around St. Lawrence County this summer.

After the switch to remote learning in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, between 600-900 students in the rural North Country did not have internet access at home. The hotspots will be made available year-round to allow all families access to internet.

“The wireless hotspots provided to the SLC People Project through the generosity AFT will prove to be a community resource that will not only provide opportunities for children, but for all community members,” said Mary Wills, project coordinator for the People Project. “Lack of internet connectivity across our region is due to various factors but geography and cost are the main obstacles.”

Students without a reliable internet connection can access educational programs and families will have an opportunity to access important information and services, such as telemedicine appointments and social services.

Tuesdays event will be held at the Parishville Park beach. All participants are required to wear masks and abide by social distancing guidelines.

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