Digital Bridge K-12 grew out of EducationSuperHighway (ESH), a nonprofit that spent the last eight years bridging the digital divide by connecting 47 million K-12& students to broadband so that every student had equal access to personalized learning, compelling curricula, and great teachers. With its mission accomplished at the beginning of this year, ESH began to wind down and was weeks away from closing when the coronavirus appeared and shuttered schools nationwide, causing teachers to deliver their curriculum online for the remainder of the school year.
Suddenly, all the work that ESH had done creating broadband access inside of schools was insufficient. So ESH immediately joined forces with the 1 Million Project to launch an initiative called Digital Bridge K-12, solely focused on providing broadband access for tens of thousands of San Francisco Bay Area low-income students who are sheltering at home and have no access to broadband, and without it can’t access the ;educational curriculum now being supplied digitally.
Digital Bridge K-12 will deploy Wi-Fi super spots in communities and on buses that had been sitting idle, with internet access donated by Sprint. This pop-up circumvented the need for creating a new infrastructure or entity. Instead, it spun out of two existing nonprofits, relieving Digital Bridge K-12 of having to incorporate as a new entity, recruit staff, and engage in conventional, and lengthy, start-up and set-up activities in order deploy quickly. It took less than 30 days from ideation to deployment, and not a penny of federal, state, or municipal dollars or resources was spent.
With a simple mission and clear execution, they were funded instantly by DRK, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and others they had partnered with in the past who had full confidence in their ability to execute the mission. Digital Bridge K-12 is planning to expand to Texas and Oregon, with other states to follow.