Access to technology is an important element for children’s education and the new Cox Innovation Lab at the Crossroads Village Boys and Girls Club is providing members with a technical edge.
Painted in light blue, the lab was created with a $25,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation. A grand opening ceremony, complete with cupcakes, was presented online Wednesday.
The lab is part of a $150,000 grant The James M. Cox Foundation provided to establish five new Cox Innovation Labs in the nation. The Innovation Labs are the cornerstone of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Club Tech program, which provide students a curriculum to advance their computer literacy skills. These Innovation Labs help bridge the digital divide for children without access to a computer or internet connection at home, according to Margaret-Hunter Wade, director of Public Affairs for Cox Communications.
“Not only will our kids be able to expand their knowledge during our Power Hour, daily time set aside to complete school work and receive help from tutors, but our kids will be able to build upon their knowledge in our STEM (science, education, math and technology) programs with the 3D printers,” said Hal Smith, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula president and CEO.
In addition to the Innovation Lab grant, Cox expanded broadband access in Virginia. Through community partnerships with organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, Connect2Compete (C2C) and CARES Act funding. In 2020 alone, Cox connected more than 5,000 students to a broadband connection through C2C.
J.D. Myers, II, region manager and senior vice president of Cox in Virginia said, “We’re committed to ensuring our children are connected at school, at home and right here at the Boys and Girls Club where so many children spend their afternoons. We look forward to the incredible achievements we’re going to see from all of these bright kids in the coming years.”