Cox Communications Awards $50,000 in “Innovation in Education” Grants to Support Distance Learning This Fall

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

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With distance learning being the new normal for school districts across the state, Cox—a gold-level Leaders Circle sponsor of the Greater Irvine Chamber—is committed to ensuring students and teachers start the new school year strong by having the tools they need for success. As a part of this commitment, Cox has awarded $50,000 in “Innovation in Education” grants to local school districts and the Orange County Department of Education. The grant program was established in 2014 to support teachers at eligible schools who were enhancing the traditional classroom experience by providing creative and technology-based curriculum for their students. Since its inception, Cox has awarded more than $300,000 in grants to help fund these innovative programs for students in grades K-12.  

This year, Cox had the opportunity to meet with school administrators at school districts in Orange County and Palos Verdes service areas to learn more about the greatest needs their schools are facing due to the pandemic and the shift to distance learning. The needs varied from laptops for students, document cameras for teachers, devices for special education students, and professional development and mental health resources. Due to the CARES Act, Cox had the ability to provide grants directly to the districts this year to help alleviate or cover the cost of these resources. 

“We are extremely grateful to Cox Communications for continuing to make valuable investments in our schools and students through the Innovation in Education initiative,” said Orange County Superintendent of SchoolsDr. Al Mijares. “Across the state, educators are working hard to provide robust distance learning with limited resources. This latest round of grant funding will help OCDE acquire essential Chromebooks and iPads to support students in our Deaf and Hard of Hearing program with both online learning and in-person instruction when it resumes.”

The 2020 Innovation in Education grant recipients are:

  • Orange County Department of Education - iPads and Chromebooks for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students  
  • Capistrano Unified School District – Document cameras for educators to facilitate distant learning
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District – Devices for students
  • Irvine Unified School District – Chromebooks for students
  • Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District – Mental health resources for students and teachers

“The Saddleback Valley Unified School District is thrilled to receive a 2020 Innovation in Education grant!  The grant will be used to purchase additional devices, helping support students and teachers and ensuring connectivity during these unprecedented times of distance learning.  We value our community relationships and want to thank Cox for their continued partnership and support of SVUSD and our community,” said Superintendent Dr. Crystal Turner.

“The Innovation in Education program is part of the investment commitment Cox has had to education since our founding. For years, this program has provided us the opportunity to bring innovative technology and skills development into many classrooms throughout Orange County and Palos Verdes," said Jodi Duva, vice president, Cox Business. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work directly with school districts and the Orange County Department of Education this year to address the immediate needs their students and teachers have due to the pandemic and the shift to distance learning.” 

In addition to supporting students and their families through programs like the Innovation in Education grant, Cox has remained focused on bridging the digital divide by implementing several programs to help families connect from home during the pandemic. Most recently, the company announced that new qualifying families who sign up for Connect2Compete, Cox’s low-cost internet program for low-income families, before Sept. 30, 2020 will receive the first two months free, as well as free remote technical support. Families can qualify for Connect2Compete easily from their mobile device or desktop by visiting  

The Cox Connect2Compete program is available to families who: 

  • Have at least one child that is a K-12 student at home  
  • Participate in one of these government subsidies programs: The National School Lunch Program, SNAP, TANF, Head Start, WIC, LIHEAP, or Public Housing 

Category: Partner News, Member News, Education News, COVID-19

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