Wayne Township teams up with Verizon


Sedric Warren, Verizon State & Local Government Affairs; Michael Meier, Verizon Public Sector Sales; MSD Wayne Superintendent Jeff Butts; MSD Wayne Chief Technology/Operations Officer Pete Just; Ben Davis University High School Principal Steve Samuel

staff report

Five schools from the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township have joined Verizon Innovative Learning. This education initiative addresses barriers to digital inclusion and is a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic,
environmental and social advancement.

Verizon Innovative Learning provides hotspots with two-year data plans for students who lack reliable internet access at home. It also provides on-demand professional learning opportunities for educators, IT implementation support, and a stipend for an instructional liaison to support

“This pandemic has clearly exposed inequities in student access to digital content. The MSD of Wayne Township is honored to be the first district in Indiana to be selected for participation in the Verizon Innovative Learning initiative,” said Dr. Jeff Butts, MSD Wayne superintendent. “As
a result, we are better able to serve our learners in the school house, at home, or anywhere they are able to access a Verizon signal. And, as Verizon is America’s Most Reliable Network, we know that our students will be able to access their coursework and connect with teachers wherever they are.”

“This transformative program will help address a significant learning barrier for so many unserved and underserved students by providing access to the technology and resources they need to thrive in a digital world,”  said Tupac Hunter, Director of State & Local Government Affairs at Verizon. “Verizon is very proud to help enable students in MSD of Wayne Township schools to develop the skills, knowledge and capabilities to pursue their highest ambition and secure a promising future.”

“The five MSD Wayne schools participating in Verizon Innovative Learning are Ben Davis High School, Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center, Ben Davis University High School, Chapel Hill 7th & 8th Grade Center and Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center. These schools will receive a total of 875
hotspots for students in need of reliable home internet access.

A non-profit organization called Digital Promise is also involved in the partnership with Verizon Innovative Learning.

“We know that digital equity is a critical component in student success, so we’re really excited about the opportunity to partner with the Verizon Innovative Learning initiative to provide all our secondary students that have a need the ability to connect to their digital resources when they’re at home” said MSD Wayne Chief Technology/Operations Officer Pete Just. “We look forward to the successes our students will be able to achieve with this new opportunity.”

Steve Samuel, principal of Ben Davis University High School, said the Verizon Innovative Learning initiative is helping more students access digital learning outside of the school building.

“Our work as educators sometimes involves removing barriers,” Mr. Samuel said. “And our partnership with Verizon Innovative Learning absolutely allows us to remove the barrier of poor digital connectivity for our students.”