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Sprint to provide internet access for 6,400 Kansas City area students

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Posted at 1:52 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 14:52:20-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly 30 percent of homes in Kansas City and Kansas City, Kansas, don't have internet access, which impacts students and their schoolwork. 

On Thursday, Sprint CEO Michel Combes, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and school superintendents from the metro area announced a partnership with Sprint to provide mobile devices and internet access for more students. 

The goal of Sprint's 1Million Project is to provide internet access for 1 million students across the country. The partnership in Kansas City will provide access for 6,400 students in 17 school districts.

School districts across Kansas and Missouri provide tablets or laptops for students to take home. Most homework assignments are done online, but many students don’t have access to the internet at home. 

"I would get out of school, walk to Burger King on Blue Parkway or I would get on the bus and chill at a friends house 'til 9:30 and walk back home,” junior Keanu Turentine said. 

As part of the partnership with Sprint, Best Buy also announced it will open a teen technology center in Kansas City. 

"We provide individual access so we provide access at the home. Those tech centers can bring students together and provide digital tools, like robots or whatever, which will be useful for the future of their education,” Combes said. 

Senior Ty’ree Wilson said her grades were dropping before she got WiFi. She used to rush and do her homework minutes before class would start, but now things have changed. 

"My grades have improved. I have been able to hand in my work on time. I don’t have as much stress,” she said. 

Turentine was so thankful for the service, he wrote Combes, the Sprint CEO, a letter. The high school student said that while many take having internet access for granted, the new partnership will help thousands of students. 

"Its going to be a lot of kids on the same ground level. Because they have the internet, they won’t fall back on assignments so they can study. It will help the community a lot,” Turentine said. 

The expansion of service to 17 school districts is expected to be done by the end of this school year.