Middletown school district asking community to sponsor WiFi hotspots for local students

Middletown schools launches sponsorship program for internet

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - As Middletown City Schools begins phasing students back into the classroom Monday, the challenge remains of keeping students connected to the internet while they’re completing assignments at home.

For the past few months, the classrooms at Middletown City Schools have been empty, with teachers giving their daily lessons in front of a computer screen.

The new format has been a challenge for students without internet access.

“It’s a necessity like electricity, like water, like any other utility we have in our homes," Superintendent of Middletown City Schools Marlon Styles said. “To be successful in life right now, having access to the internet is something that is critical for a student to be successful in this day and age.”

To keep students connected online, the district has provided 1,400 hotspots for families in need.

“We work with local providers to figure out what homes do not have internet, and we’ve been able to provide our students who need internet access with hot spots, and they can learn while they’re at home,” said Styles.

Each hotspot is $183, which adds up.

To help fund the effort, the district has started a new campaign called Connectivity for Middletown Youth. Under the program, people in the community can donate money to sponsor a student.

“We’re reaching out to our community and nationwide for donations to make sure students continue post COVID to be able to continue learning in the home with reliable internet service," Styles said. “Any donation helps and contributions of any amount will make sure students have the opportunity to stay connected.”

A $183 donation will provide internet access for the entire school year for a student.

The Middletown Community Foundation recently donated $25,000 dollars to help with the effort.

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