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Business and community leaders combine resources to make home internet a reality for GISD families


Leanna Sawyer picked up a router to allow her son to have home internet, which will assist him in his studies.


Thanks to the L3Harris Foundation, Tools for School, the City of Greenville, Class of 1969, Altrusa & personal donors

Leanna Sawyer must have said thank you a dozen times when she picked up the router that would give her and her family free home internet for the rest of the school year.

“This is a big blessing,” she said. “Thank you, thank you for doing this. I know it’s going to help my son in his studies. He’ll be able to do so much research now. This will make such a difference for him and for my entire family.”

Sawyer is one of more than 300 GISD parents whose children will now be able to fully participate in hybrid and online learning from home, thanks to the generosity and combined effort of the following community groups:

  • Tools for School and the L3Harris Foundation: Tools for School was awarded a $25,000 social impact grant from the L3Harris Foundation. In addition, Tools for School contributed $20,000 of its own fundraising efforts to leverage the impact of the L3Harris Foundation grant. Tools for School was one of only 39 non-profit organizations to receive a social impact grant to provide relief to communities adversely affected by COVID-19. The L3Harris Foundation distributed grants in 19 states to organizations addressing issues like food insecurity, basic needs, veteran aid, educational access and mental resiliency. L3Harris Vice President of Operations Gary Smith, Tools for School President and Director W.D. Hilton and Executive Director Kristi Horne represented the organizations at the Oct. 20 GISD School Board meeting.

“We’re very grateful to L3Harris for their continued work in the community to provide for the students in Greenville and surrounding school districts,” Hilton said. “It’s great when private industry and businesses contribute to our schools, and it makes a real difference in the lives of our students.”

“Over half of our employees are local parents who have their kids in school,” Smith said. “We’re happy and proud anytime we can do anything that will support the community and in particular, the school.”

  • City of Greenville: The City Council voted unanimously to donate $54,262.50 from their CARES Act funds to specifically aide GISD in the purchase of hotspots and up to an additional $22,500 for in-home reliable internet through GEUS for families that don't have it or that may need it during the course of the 2020-21 school year due the pandemic. Mayor David Dreiling and City Manager Summer Spurlock represented the City at the Oct. 20 GISD School Board meeting.

“It’s a pleasure for the City Council to help out the school system anywhere we can,” Dreiling said.

  • Class of 1969, Altrusa International, personal donors: GHS alum and Altrusa International President Melva Hill represented these groups at the meeting. The combined donations totaled $4,600.

“One of the main focuses of Altrusa is literacy, and so we wanted to make sure that we were trying to help these kids,” Hill said. “We are grateful to present this to the students of Greenville ISD with the hope that we can better their education.”

If you are the parent of a GISD student and would like more information please contact your child's campus counselor.