Nearly 2K Covington families with school children to receive free computers

Nearly 2K Covington families with school children to receive free computers
The City says families must have at least one child in Covington school between preschool and 12th grade who do not have a working computer at home. (Source: Morgan Newell/WBTV)

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - Nearly 2,000 families with kids in school can get a free computer to help ensure students have access to reliable technology.

The City of Covington says this free program will help erase the digital divide in the city.

To be eligible for this program, the City says families must have at least one child in Covington school between preschool and 12th grade who do not have a working computer at home.

The City says this is a lottery system and the organizers hope to provide up to 1,900 families with computers.

The number of families receiving a computer will depend on the supply and demand, the City of Covington said.

“We’re encouraging people to apply as soon as possible,” Jon Adkins, the director of resident services for the housing authority said. “It literally will take you three to four minutes to apply. It’s very, very quick and very simplistic.”

Adkins says families will need a working cell phone because the notification will come in a text message.

Distribution for the computers will be at a drive-thru site in Latonia in the first week of September.

Since computers need internet access, the City of Covington says they are also working to create 125 Wi-Fi hotspots in low/moderate-income neighborhoods.

The City says the housing authority has a deal with Cincinnati Bell to bring internet to all apartments in the Latonia Terrace and City Heights complexes.

Wi-Fi access is being expanded to neighborhood business districts in MainStrasse Village, at Ritte’s Corner in Latonia, and along the 12th Street corridor, the City says.

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer is sending letters to property owners in these areas soon to ask for their permission to install the equipment needed for Wi-Fi, the City says.

“The project is happening, and it’s happening right away,” he said. “Time is of essence. We can start deploying these devices as soon as we get permission from the property owners. We’re asking that they read the letter and follow up with the City in a timely manner so we can start filling in these connectivity gaps and help our families.”

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