LOGAN COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — On Wednesday, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Director of InnovateOhio, visited Riverside Local School District in Logan County to help the launch of several innovative projects.
The project is funded through Ohio’s K-12 Broadband Connectivity Grant and that will help provide affordable high-speed internet access to a student population that is largely underserved by broadband.
“You cannot in this world today participate in modern economy, the modern healthcare system, and modern education system without access to high-speed internet,” said Lt. Governor Husted.
His “InnovateOhio” initiative helped implement the pilot project providing hotspots and internet-enabled devices to Riverside students. So far, the $171,000 project can provide internet to 600 families at as low as $15 per month.
“What started this passion for Riverside Local Schools, is when we had to shut down last year and go online. It exposed us to our lack of internet capability,” said Scott Mann, Superintendent of Riverside Schools.
Some students said it brings a sigh of relief as they continue navigating new ways of learning during a pandemic.
“I remember sometimes it would take at least half an hour just to send one email to a teacher just trying to ask a question, and now with everything going on, it’s much faster,” said Zane Rose, a senior at Riverside.
Another senior, Kaden Burke said, “it was really tough for me to stay caught up on assignments and listen to my teachers through zoom and talk to them because the connection was so bad that I couldn’t even hear what they were saying or see what they were doing.”
“Technology is going to be an integral part of the education experience going forward,” said Paolo DeMaria, the Ohio superintendent of public instruction.
“I think you’re going to see nationally people look at this project and say we need to replicate this across rural America,” said Husted.