Partnership Among Schools, Libraries For Five Nebraska Communities

Partnership Among Schools, Libraries For Five Nebraska Communities
Courtesy of the Nebraska Library Commission

WAYNE – Beginning June 1 five Nebraska Communities will take part in a one-year project to help close the homework gap for rural students.

Northeast Nebraska locations of Bancroft and Verdigre will join Genoa, Imperial and Wymore.

According to a press release from the Nebraska Library Commission, High-speed Internet access is essential to Nebraska schoolchildren and a partnership between schools and libraries in five Nebraska communities will demonstrate an innovative way to ensure that children can complete homework assignments and projects.

The Nebraska Library Commission has been awarded a National Leadership Sparks Grant of $25,000 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a partnership project with the Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and five local school districts and public libraries. The Nebraska Schools and Libraries, Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships grant is one of 26 projects out of 117 applications to receive funding totaling $5,770,682 to support libraries across the nation.

Five Nebraska rural school districts and public libraries will work together as partners to increase Internet speeds at the public library using fixed wireless technology to provide additional Internet to the library, augmenting the current Internet service. Up to one gigabit (1,000Mbps) of Internet speed will be provided for a designated homework hotspot for school district students and staff. This will help close the “homework gap” that rural students face when attempting to complete homework assignments and school projects without a reliable Internet source at home.

The libraries will use the school districts’ network to augment existing Internet service, supplementing it with high-speed Internet access for K-12 students and staff in these school districts so that students can complete homework assignments, collaborate in groups on research projects, access online instruction, work on special projects and undertake other digital learning activities.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.