Cox Awards $50,000 in 2021 Innovation in Education Grants to Irvine Unified and Other Local School Districts

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

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While many students across California started the 2020/2021 school year from home and utilizing a technology device, most are now finishing up the year back in the classrooms. To safely welcome students back in the classroom and ensure remote learners have an equitable experience, schools had to make some modifications. To support those efforts, Cox awarded $50,000 in Innovation in Education (IIE) grants to local school districts and to the Orange County Department of Education

“The Innovation in Education program is part of Cox's commitment to education since its founding. Established in 2014, the program has awarded $350,000 in grants to power innovative curriculum and technology for students in grades K-12 throughout Orange County and Palos Verdes," said Jodi Duva, vice president for Cox Business. “As the educational landscape continues to evolve and pivot, we’re grateful for the opportunity to work directly with school districts and the Orange County Department of Education to address immediate needs. Thank you to all the educators and professionals who are navigating through this pandemic to support elementary education.”

This year, Cox leaders had the opportunity to meet with school administrators from numerous school districts in the Orange County and Palos Verdes, two of Cox’s California service areas, to learn about some of their schools’ greatest needs due to the continued impact of COVID-19. The needs varied from laptops, digital literacy training, increased technology in the classrooms, and mental health support services. As a result of the CARES Act, Cox can provide grants directly to school districts again in 2021. 

“Cox Communications has been a valued partner to our schools and communities, and its latest investments through the Innovation in Education initiative could not come at a better time,” said Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares. “Students are increasingly interacting with their world through digital technologies, and online engagement has taken an exponential leap during the pandemic. Grant funding from Cox will enable the Orange County Department of Education to provide robust and meaningful digital literacy instruction for students enrolled in alternative education programs, and it will allow us to develop new lessons on emerging technologies, including virtual reality.”  

The 2021 Innovation in Education grant recipients are: 

  • Irvine Unified School District  
  • Orange County Department of Education  
  • Capistrano Unified School District
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District   
  • Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation and our continued partnership with Cox Communications,” said CUSD Superintendent Kirsten Vital Brulte. “Technology plays such an important role in teaching and learning, which is why we have made it our goal to provide a Chromebook for all 47,000 CUSD students. This grant brings that goal to life.”   

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 have access to the internet. Connect2Compete program is Cox’s affordable in-home internet program available for low-income families. Families can qualify for Connect2Compete easily from their mobile device or desktop by visiting In addition to the Connect2Compete program, Cox offers a variety of free digital literacy programs for families, educators, community leaders, and students through the Cox Digital Academy.

Cox is a platinum-level Leaders Circle partner of the Greater Irvine Chamber.

Category: Education News, Education Excellence, IUSD, Destination Irvine, Cox, Leaders Circle, Greater Irvine Chamber