September 23, 2020
Ale ValerianoStaff Writer
As a founding partner in the Partnership for a ConnectedMN, Best Buy is proud to announce that $2.1 million has been awarded in grants to 23 organizations that provide support to students in urban and rural communities across the state.
ConnectedMN, a public-private partnership announced by Gov. Tim Walz in June, aims to address digital inequities facing Minnesota students by helping meet the technology and connectivity needs of families with school-aged children. This first round of grants will help an estimated 68,000 students by providing access to the computing devices and internet that is essential for distance learning and accessing critical support services.
The grant process was led by Best Buy — along with the other founding partners, including Comcast, Blandin Foundation, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Business Partnership — in collaboration with the state of Minnesota. The grant funding aims to support organizations focused on those students most challenged by the sudden shift to online school, including Indigenous and students of color, as well as students from low-income families.
Best Buy is committed to helping youth from disinvested communities build brighter futures, which has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. ConnectedMN is just one of the latest examples of how we’re using technology to make a positive impact on the communities we serve.
To date, the Best Buy Foundation has provided $10 million in funding to nonprofit partners nationwide to ensure youth have access to the tools they need to learn and engage remotely. And our Teen Tech Centers — safe after-school spaces that provide teens with hands-on experience with tech, training and mentorship — have adapted to remotely connect with youth in this new virtual landscape.
Beyond the Partnership for a ConnectedMN, Best Buy has also donated a combined $100,000 to organizations in Minnesota, including the Northside Achievement Zone and the Page Education Foundation to fund device access. Those collaborations have resulted in more than 400 local youth receiving computing devices to help access educational resources.
Click here for more information about ConnectedMN and the grants distributed this funding round.