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AT&T commits $10 million to distance learning fund in face of COVID-19 school closures

The first $1M is spoken for.

One of the nation’s leading telecom companies is making an eight-figure commitment to distance learning.

AT&T on Friday rolled out a $10 million Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund.

The goal: “to give parents, students and teachers tools they need for at-home learning. The fund also will provide resources to maintain meaningful connections and bonding opportunities for those isolated from family and friends.”

With coronavirus mandating social isolation virtually everywhere, with curfews, shutdowns of mass gathering places, and other nonnegotiable factors inhibiting in-person gathering, the fund is well-timed.

The decision was lauded by Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League.

“Members of our communities face many challenges amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and they need the ability to continue to learn and bond,” Morial said

“Everyone is in this together. We are proud to see companies like AT&T helping provide their resources so that people can continue their education and connect with their families and friends,” Morial said.

The first $1 million donation goes to Khan Academy. Google will be matching the donation.

“This collaboration will improve and expand online learning resources to meet growing demand from parents, teachers and students, including those who rely on free resources and need Khan Academy the most. It will also support the development of new resources designed specifically for COVID-19 school closures,” the media release asserts.

This is the second action from AT&T in recent days that will help to bridge the digital divide.

The company is allowing residential customers unlimited data throughout the emergency.

As well, AT&T is expanding access to its Access from AT&T program.

That initiative allows $10 a month connections, and households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start are eligible.

These actions, says AT&T CEO Jeff McElfresh, are designed to help people through the worst of the crisis.

“I want you to know that AT&T will continue to do everything we can do to help. I truly believe that together we can help slow the spread of the coronavirus and lessen its impact. And once we do that, it is only a matter of time before we get our communities back to normal,” McEfresh said this week.

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