On Wednesday, hundreds of students at Westpine Middle School received an iPad and up to a four-year data plan on each device to empower 24/7 learning.
"I'm happy to get it to do my schoolwork and explore everything that’s on it," said eighth grader Afreeca Fullwood.
Along with Westpine, Gulfstream Academy, Olsen Middle School, and Pines Middle School are among the 148 new schools joining the Verizon Innovative Learning program, bringing the program to more than 400 middle and high schools nationwide.
In Broward, there’s now a total of nine participating schools.
"Especially after last year with COVID and being quarantined, I realized as an educator how many students didn’t have access to internet. So this bridges that gap and it gives opportunity for the kids to have access to the world at their fingertips," said Verizon Innovative Learning Instructional Coach, Danielle Rosen.
The program aims to enhance student engagement and improve student academic performance.
According to Verizon Innovative Learning, studies show 59% of students believe assignments are easier when using a device, and 54% believe having the device improved their confidence in things they can do.
"I have a lot of projects and readings that can be accessed on applications on the tablet. I have a test on Friday and I’m going to use the tablet to complete it," said Fullwood.
The program, which launched in 2012, has reached more than 200,000 students and 14,000 teachers across middle and high schools nationwide.
Verizon Innovative Learning is committed to providing 10 million students with digital skills by 2030.
"I’m very thankful because it’s going to allow us to do our school work better and easier and do things that we can’t do. For the people who don’t have iPhones or computers, they can do the schoolwork now," said eighth grader Adrian Hosang.