Today: free Chromebooks, hotspots for 5th Ward residents
Chromebooks lie out after being cleaned in preparation for the Sept. 8 start of school at Newfield Elementary School on August 31, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

To help bridge the digital divide in Harris County, Commissioner Rodney Ellis will join Harris County Public Library Director Edward Melton in giving away Chromebooks and hotspots to Fifth Ward residents at Precinct One’s Finnigan Park.

“The Greater Fifth Ward community, unfortunately, is one of many areas in Harris County that has been left behind in the digital age,” said Ellis. “We cannot let that continue because computers and internet connectivity are no longer luxury items, but rather necessary tools to make sure our children can continue to learn. Also, it’s equally essential that adults have access to computers and internet.”

Hundreds of devices will be given out at Finnigan Park as part of a program launched in February when the library system received funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to establish a communitywide internet connectivity campaign for Harris County residents. The program will provide 40,000 T-Mobile 5G MiFi hotspots with unlimited data on T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network and 15,000 Google Chromebooks.

The library and over 20 community partners have distributed nearly 10,000 Google Chromebooks and over 25,000 T-Mobile hotspots.  Each Harris County commissioner also received an allotment of devices to help meet residents’ needs.

“Texas Covid-19 Achievement Gap Data shows roughly 46,000 students in the county do not have access to technology,” said Ellis. “We are proud to partner with the Harris County Public Library to distribute connected devices to directly address some of this need.”

GIVE AWAY INFO

WHAT:

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Harris County Public Library Director Edward Melton will give away Chromebooks and hotspots in Fifth Ward as part of the county’s efforts to close the digital divide.

WHO:                            

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis; Edward Melton, Director of Harris County Public Library; Brian Hedgpeth, Education & Government Account Executive for T-Mobile; and Residents receiving Chromebooks

WHEN:

Wednesday, May 4, 5 p.m.

WHERE:

Youth Education Town at Finnigan Park, 4900 Providence St., Houston, (Key Map 494L)