SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new partnership could close the learning gap for some Kentucky high school students.
Kiley Ernst, a junior at Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelby County, is one of the students who will benefit from the partnership. She doesn't have a backpack full of text books, but she does have a Google Chromebook full of homework assignments.
"We all turn them in on Google Classroom online," Ernst said.
But there have been some challenges — a lot of them.
"I get very frustrated, and yes, I do scream sometimes," she said.
Ernst has internet access at home, but she said there are many challenges.
"I will walk around the house with my laptop, holding it up in the air, just trying to find a good little connection," she said.
Jill Tingle, chief operations officer of Shelby County Schools, said reliable internet access will soon be going home with students.
"It's not just about having internet. It's about having reliable internet," he said. "It's about being able to sit down on a device and complete school work or job applications."
Shelby County recently received a grant from Sprint and the 1Million Project Foundation. The grant will provide a free mobile hotspot device and high-speed wireless data to eligible students.
Tingle said the hotspots are a potential game-changer, and 96 students have already requested one.
"This opportunity will close the learning gap in Shelby County," he said.
Ernst is already an honor student, but she believes having better internet access will make it easier to maintain.
"It's nice to know that that stress will be downgraded a lot," she said. "It's really exciting to know that I will have something reliable to do my snow-go work, which is our snow day work that we get to do, and just everyday homework."
School officials expect the have the mobile hotspot devices by early November.
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