Digital equity emerged as a priority for us in the immediate wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After hearing from numerous CPS parents about the need for high-speed internet access as we transitioned to remote learning in the spring of 2020, we dug into census data to understand the magnitude of the issue in Chicago, and released a report. Our report found that roughly 110,000 children (1 in 5) under the age of 18 lacked access to broadband in Chicago, and predominantly Black and Latine neighborhoods showed considerable gaps in both device ownership and internet connectivity. We proposed immediate solutions.
Our efforts inspired public and private partners to come together to launch Chicago Connected in June 2020. Chicago Connected has become the country’s largest digital equity initiative of its kind, providing 100,000+ CPS students and their households with newfound internet connectivity to navigate school, work, and life. This paved the way for Chicago to defeat the digital divide for all its residents.
This groundbreaking initiative has served as a model for connecting families in cities across the country.
CPS students and their households served through Chicago Connected