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South Bend Extends Wi-Fi Assistance to All School Employees

A partnership between the city, local school district and local nonprofit EnFocus will expand its Citywide Classroom program with a five-year extension for students and coverage for all district employees.

Wi-Fi symbols against a black background.
(TNS) — City and South Bend school leaders are once again expanding Internet access to eligible students and families.

The Citywide Classroom South Bend program — a partnership between the city, South Bend schools and local nonprofit enFocus — will now provide access to all 21st Century Scholars, teachers, staff and school employees in the South Bend district.

The state’s 21st Century Scholars program enrolls middle school students whose families meet certain income requirements in a multiyear college preparation and scholarship program extending through four years of high school.

South Bend’s Citywide Classroom program, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, began as a needs-based program and has now provided more than 2,800 connections through at-home Internet service and Wi-Fi hotspots, according to a news release.

U.S. Census Bureau data shows the about 30 percent of South Bend households lack access to home Internet, according to the program.

This latest expansion of Citywide Classroom services will offer a five-year extension of mobile hotspot coverage after students currently in the program meet the expiration of their one-year contract.

The program, funded through a $1.8 million Governor’s Emergency Education Relief grant, aligns with public educators’ mission, South Bend schools’ chief technology officer, Patrick Stalvey, said in the news release.

“We’re thrilled that we’re able to open this resource to so many more of our students and families,” Stalvey said. “As educators, we know that accessible and reliable Internet connectivity is crucial for the success of our students, now more than ever.”

For more information about the Citywide Classroom program, including application and eligibility details, see

©2022 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.