Facebook gives Madison County Schools nearly $1M to improve student connectivity

Updated: Apr. 23, 2020 at 5:35 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Madison County Schools announced the single largest private donation in the school district’s history.

Facebook has partnered with the Madison County Schools to bring digital technology to every student in its system. On Thursday, Facebook announced a gift of $939,000 for the system.

:Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our school district immediately went into action to implement a distance learning plan for all students. We realized a significant portion of our students did not have access to internet connectivity and devices. Facebook is donating these funds to help make broader connectivity and equitable access a reality. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such an amazing community partner,” said Superintendent Allen Perkins.

“Huntsville is our home and we are honored to partner with the Madison County School System to provide immediate relief to students and families,” said Katie Comer, community development regional manager for Facebook. “We are committed to investing in the long-term vitality of this community, and we hope this partnership will help students continue their education from home.”

Facebook has been a member of the community since 2018 when they broke ground on their data center in Huntsville.

School spokesman Tim Hall said in addition to helping with devices, Facebook’s gift includes funding to install mobile Wi-Fi on school buses as well as access points to extend the Wi-Fi range at schools.

Hall said the school district plans to retrofit more than 90 buses with Wi-Fi.

“The generosity of Facebook will allow Madison County students to connect digitally in a broader variety of locations and will provide additional devices to enhance their 1:1 capacity. All of this will help to close the digital divide for many of their students,” the district said in a news release.

“This gift of nearly one million dollars is a gamechanger for our district, and empowers us to provide the highest quality education for our students,” Perkins said.

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