BUILDING A MORE EQUITABLE, RESILIENT STATE WHERE EACH AND EVERY STUDENT CAN LEARN, THRIVE AND PROSPER.
Partnership for a ConnectedMN is a public-private partnership to bring tech devices, internet access and digital learning support to students and families across the state, especially communities most in need, including students who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color, students from low-income families, and students residing in rural Minnesota.
ConnectedMN was established by the Governor’s Office in collaboration with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Best Buy and Blandin Foundation in the wake of COVID-19 to ensure children from high-need and underserved communities have access to the tools and support they need to participate in digital life and learning.
ConnectedMN’s mission, as an alliance of public and private partners, is focused on connecting all students and families in Minnesota to the digital resources they need to learn, grow, and thrive.
To address digital inequities faced by students in Minnesota, Partnership for a ConnectedMN has awarded $5.7 million in grants to more than 50 nonprofits serving the connectivity needs of students and their families.
ConnectedMN grants have served an estimated 85,000 students and families in urban and rural communities. These students have been able to gain access to computing devices, internet and critical support services like coaching and tech support.
“ We used the funds to purchase 56 new Chromebooks for families who were formerly homeless and living in PPL Supportive Housing.”
Project for Pride in Living
ConnectedMN Work Continues
ConnectedMN is working to bring tech devices, high speed internet access and digital navigation support to students and families across the entire state who have been traditionally underserved, including students who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
The work of the partnership continues today as a public-private coalition with guidance from the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and community partners across the state.
ConnectedMN has worked hard to build relationships with many organizations across the state that are equally interested in addressing this need. For this reason among others, grantees and community partners are brought together on a regular basis to convene, discuss and share best practices and experience about current conditions. Keeping up to date about what is happening at the community level shapes ConnectedMN’s ongoing work and actions.
Subgroups have been created to explore what’s needed to bring digital navigation services and high speed internet access to students across Minnesota. The Digital Navigation Subgroup and the Connectivity Subgroup are comprised of grantees, business and philanthropic leaders, community-based organizations, and community members with passion for this work.
The Connectivity Subgroup focuses on improving high speed internet access and access to devices, especially in areas that are unserved, underserved, or face barriers to adoption (e.g. affordability, language, education, etc). These conditions exist in all areas of the state, both urban and rural, so this subgroup’s perspective is statewide.
The Digital Navigation Subgroup is working to create a framework for organizations that wish to develop navigation services. Thousands of Minnesotans will receive new access to high speed internet services in the next 3-5 years, many of whom won’t know how to make use of these services. Digital Navigators will help people learn the skills needed to find their way in the digital world and access important resources.