With an enduring commitment to public education across the cooperative’s five-county service area, SkyLine Membership Corporation has announced the re-emergence of its technology grant program with a renewed focus on student connectivity.
Like the original grant program that helped to enhance technology in the classroom--namely by bringing new Smart Board systems to school classrooms across the co-op’s service area from 2006 through 2014--the SkyLine/SkyBest Student Connect Grant Program seeks to bridge the technology gap by linking fiber-based Internet access directly to the homes of those students who lack this critical tool to facilitate academic success due to need or challenging circumstances.
As a key community partner to education and architect of the most advanced fiber network in the region, Sky-Line values the collaborative relationships formed with area school systems that result in a level playing field for all students and opportunity for greater student enrichment and success. SkyLine has designated technology-based resources to this program, and the timing of its debut cannot come at a more critical time of need in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The inaugural grant is providing at-home fiber broadband connectivity for up to 75 students throughout the co-op’s five-county service area. Each school system determines student eligibility, based on criteria of need or special circumstances, and whose families live in communities served by SkyLine’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTP) network. SkyLine also provided the opportunity for school systems to provide funding for a 1:1 match for this inaugural program if additional need exists.
“We know that broadband accessibility is a common requirement for all educational settings, and the pandemic has further intensified that reality,” said SkyLine CEO Kim Shepherd. “SkyLine realizes that it also has a role to play in partnering with education to enhance technology in our schools that give all students a more equal opportu-nity for success. We hope this new funding effort will accelerate efforts to fill that critical need.”
SkyLine Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Edward Hinson, PR Administrator Karen Powell and Strategic Sales Supervisor Brent Keith have met with officials from all five school system to announce the new annual initiative, and the process to extend broadband connectivity to these students continues.
For more information, contact the Central Office at each of the five county school systems served by SkyLine: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Johnson (TN). Or click here.
SkyLine Membership Corporation has a storied history of bringing advanced telecommunications services to north west North Carolina and east Tennessee since its formation as a member-owned telephone cooperative 70 years ago. Recognized for its Gig-capable fiber network as one of the largest and most progressive rural telcos in the U.S., SkyLine and its wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyBest Communications, deliver advanced communications and technology solutions over an expanding network in northwest N.C., east/middle Tenn., and upstate S.C. The companies specifically provide symmetrical Gig broadband and bundled services (voice, internet, digital TV), business com munications, network and hosting solutions, business phone systems, monitored security and surveillance services. SkyLine and SkyBest are pursuing ways to extend the delivery of fiber technology to underserved areas, engaging collaboratively to advance the telework economy and contributing meaningfully to communities across their service footprint.
Alleghany County Schools
(L-R): SkyLine Strategic Sales Supervisor Brent Keith, Steve Hall, Director of Technology/Accountability/Public Information/Grant Writing with Alleghany County Schools; SkyLine PR Administrator Karen Powell and SkyLine Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Edward Hinson.
Ashe County Schools
(L-R): SkyLine Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Edward Hinson, SkyLine Strategic Sales Supervisor Brent Keith, SkyLine PR Administrator Karen Powell, Dr. Eisa Cox, Superintendent of Ashe County Schools, and Amy Walker, Director of Technology with Ashe County Schools.
Avery County Schools
(L-R): SkyLine Chief Marketing & Sales Officer Edward Hinson, Dr. Dan Brigman, Superintendent of Avery County Schools; SkyLine PR Administrator Karen Powell and David Reep, Chief Information Officer with Avery County Schools.
Watauga County Schools
(L-R): Alison Schleede, Director of Technology with Watauga County Schools, Dr. Scott Elliott, Superintendent of Watauga County Schools; SkyLine PR Administrator Karen Powell, SkyLine Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Edward Hinson and SkyLine Strategic Sales Supervisor Brent Keith.
Johnson County Schools
(L-R): SkyLine Strategic Sales Supervisor Brent Keith, Dr. Stephen Long, Supervisor of 7-12, Curriculum and Instruction/Transportation with Johnson County Schools; SkyLine PR Administrator Karen Powell, Dr. Mischelle Simcox, Director of Johnson County Schools; Angie Wills, Supervisor of K-6, Curriculum and Instruction/Federal Programs with Johnson County Schools; SkyLine Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Edward Hinson and Robert Sutherland, Director of Technology with Johnson County Schools.