Skip to main content

Back-to-School Tech for Families in One Illinois School District

Photograph of a young girl on a laptop with brown hair and a blue sweater

The lack of at-home internet access affects more than 1.1 million households in Illinois. And in areas like Champaign and Vermilion counties where the poverty rate hovers around 20 percent, nearly twice the state average, lack of money to buy computers, tablets and internet access often compounds the problem. NCSA’s Community Data Clinic is helping to change that, recently partnering with an area school district to distribute laptops and internet hotspots as part of a back-to-school registration event.

Project Success of Vermilion County and Georgetown-Ridge Farm School District #4 partnered with the Community Data Clinic, the state of Illinois, and PCs for People to expand internet and technology access for families. During school registration, 101 laptops and internet hotspots were distributed to families, thanks to a grant to the clinic from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) program. PCs for People is a national nonprofit which refurbishes computers donated by corporations and nonprofits and then makes those devices available for families in need.

Our team is grateful to be part of committed civic partnerships that can help to address the need for economic and digital access support for East Central Illinois families.

Anita Say Chan, Community Data Clinic Director, UIUC iSchool Professor

The Community Data Clinic functions as a hub for developing community-centered solutions for a data-driven world. In addition to promoting community-based research and data practices, diversifying data sets, and identifying and developing community archives, the Community Data Clinic works to forge strong partnerships outside of the university campus.

Read more about this back-to-school event here.


The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students and collaborators from around the globe use these resources to address research challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing many of the world’s industry giants for over 35 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

Back to top