Bringing the classroom home.

By: Andy Choi

Rose Kirk, John Nitti and Andrés Irlando talk about how we're going above and beyond to help students and teachers get back to school.

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On today’s Up To Speed, Andy welcomed Rose Kirk, John Nitti and Andrés Irlando to discuss all that we’re doing to help parents and educators get our kids prepared for a very unique back to school season.

Bridging the digital divide

Rose shared how Verizon has been on the front lines of bridging the digital divide since 2012. Many of our current efforts were underway long before COVID-19 as part of our Citizen Verizon action plan.

That said, the pandemic has accelerated and intensified the inequities within our most vulnerable communities, especially as it relates to education. We were always planning to expand Verizon Innovative Learning, but COVID-19 and the sharp transition to remote and hybrid learning made this program a game-changer for educators.

We have to make sure that we act as true partners in education so that parents have the resources they need, and teachers are trained to tools and applications that will foster a sense of community and collaboration within their virtual classrooms.

The evolution of our education-related partnerships

John Nitti explained how our partnership with The New York Times, which offers free access to NYTimes.com for high school students and teachers, has now been extended through September 2021. This is especially important while so many students transition to remote learning. It’s going to be a tool that teachers and students can use going forward.

Distance Learning program

Andy shared a message from Andrés Irlando, who leads our public sector and Verizon Connect for the Verizon Business Group, to hear about how we’ve been expanding our Distance Learning program.

“Our program is the fastest and easiest way for school districts to get connected and online,” said Andrés. Massachusetts is just one of 38 states that have partnered with us through our DistanceLearning program. That number represents more than 36 million students. “And, we’re just getting started,” said Andrés. “Every day, we’re adding more school districts and students to the program. Our goal is that as long as this pandemic is going on, any student anywhere in the country that needs access to affordable and reliable remote learning can get it, whether they’re at home full time or in some type of hybrid situation that impacts their education.”

Our new Back To School ad

Andy shared our new commercial, which shows all that we’re doing to help students get the education they deserve. Rose is proud that it shows that we’re a true partner to the education sector. We know what the issues are and we have the network strength and solutions to meet the evolving needs of educators and students.

As parents, take it easy

Rose urges parents to be easy on themselves and give themselves room for grace. It’s going to be a challenging year, but your children are going to build tremendous resilience and strength that will serve them well into the future.

John advised that as we enter this great unknown, all we can do is educate ourselves as much as possible and remain flexible as things continue to change.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

Reminder, tune in to Up To Speed Live tomorrow at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT.

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