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SAISD receives $325,000 grant for connectivity

USAA GrantThe USAA Foundation has awarded $325,000 to the Connect Campaign, an initiative of the SAISD Foundation. The goal of the Connect Campaign is to secure $1 million to pay for 12 months of connectivity fees for a portion of the more than 47,000 devices that were distributed to SAISD students this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic forced school buildings to shutter their doors.


“We are honored by the investment USAA Foundation has made through the SAISD Foundation to support connectivity for our students and families,” said Judy Geelhoed, SAISD Foundation executive director. “Their investment has gotten us in reach of our $1 million goal to ensure connectivity through this coming school year. In such times of uncertainty, USAA’s commitment to closing the digital divide is rock solid.”


SAISD students will begin the 2020-2021 school year on Aug. 17, with remote learning taking place the first three weeks of school. According to Cristina Noriega, alumni engagement and volunteer manager with the SAISD Foundation and an SAISD parent, as the new school year approaches, the technology limitations facing SAISD students are still on many minds.


“We have to be constantly reevaluating as the situation changes,” said Noriega. “We need to be ready to adjust to the needs of families as they come to us. Some families may have lost their jobs over the summer, and with that, their internet access. The only way our students can even participate and connect with their teachers is if they have reliable broadband or a hotspot. If they don’t have that, they are cut off and can’t engage. Connectivity is not a luxury; it is a necessity for our public school students.”


The monthly connectivity fees for the iPads and Chromebooks distributed by the District are being paid for through the Connect Campaign’s philanthropic dollars with the goal of providing 12 months of service at the cost of approximately $25 a month per hotspot, or $250 for a year of connectively, after accounting for an expected two-months of coverage from COVID19 relief funds.


“SAISD has already distributed 4,000 hot spots, and has another 3,000 ready to go as the need arises,” said Noriega.


Between the grant from the USAA Foundation, additional donations from several local companies, and gifts from numerous individuals, more than $840,000 has been raised for the Connect Campaign. If you are interested in helping reach the Connect Campaign’s $1 million goal, visit

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