Players Coalition Awards Additional $10K to Rooted School in N.O.

Demario Davis
New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis, Players Coalition Task Force Member, announced the grant to students via video recording. (Joe Robbins via AP)

NEW ORLEANS – Rooted School is among the schools, districts and organizations across the country being awarded grants sponsored by Players Coalition to help close the digital divide. The nonprofit, founded by NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins, is donating $350,000 in grants nationwide to help provide students and schools with the needed internet access, broadband connectivity and technology devices to set all students up for success with learning from home, despite family income. Players Coalition made its first contribution to Rooted School in 2019 and is honored to be able to extend support into the 2020-21 school year 

The Coalition said the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated education inequities and the digital divide in the U.S. as millions have struggled to get online amid the transition to distance learning. Approximately two out of three parents from lower income homes reported their children will face obstacles when it comes to remote learning due to a lack of access to computers or internet at home, according to a study by the Pew Research Center

“We are deeply grateful for this gift from the Players Coalition and its commitment to closing the digital divide,” says Rooted School Founder and CEO Jonathan Johnson. “As a result of this support, we will be better equipped to provide a higher-quality internet connection for every child at Rooted School–New Orleans during this pandemic.”

“Too many students in urban and rural communities across the country fall behind in school because they do not have access to computers and internet at home,” says Demario Davis, Players Coalition Task Force Member and linebacker for the New Orleans Saints. Davis announced the grant to students via video recording. “With so many young people being forced to learn from home due to COVID-19, there’s never been a moment of greater urgency than now to close the digital divide.”

This year’s grant recipients are part of a larger, years-long initiative from the Players Coalition. Since 2019, the PC Charitable Foundation has awarded more than $675,000 in grant funds to schools throughout the country to address the digital divide by ensuring internet connectivity and access to STEAM education programming and technology. 

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