On June 22, 2020 Dr. Mike Looney, Fulton County Schools Superintendent, was our guest speaker. A big challenge this school year is achieving distance learning during the Covid crisis. He challenged the club to obtain hotspots for families who could not afford internet service. RCSS members met with school officials and determined a great need existed at Sandy Springs Middle School. With Sandy Springs schools closed we were not able to do our planned school literacy project with Word Builders. We redirected our $1500 district grant for that project to enable the purchase of 8 Hotspot devices. These will now allow eight families to receive service for two years Each hotspot can allow six devices to connect to the internet which can provide distance learning for up to 48 students at one time. Over two years many additional families could benefit. Say the devices turn over 3 times per year as families lose then later obtain their own internet service allowing another family to then use the hotspot. Potentially over the two year service period you could have as many as 300 students receiving the benefit of distance learning.
On Nov. 17 club members visited the school and Principal Laurie Woodruff commented: "Thank you all for coming out to visit Sandy Springs Middle School today to share in the excitement of providing hotspots to our families! I feel fortunate to have an amazing organization such as Rotary Club of Sandy Springs invested in supporting our school and community. I know that our partnership will continue to flourish, with the students of SSCMS being the ultimate beneficiaries". Recognition of this project was published in the Fulton County Schools website & newsletter to parents, and in the Sandy Springs Reporter newspaper in Dec. 2020.
As a result of this meeting the club is also pursuing a corporate club membership with Fulton County Schools to enable school principals to attend Rotary Club meetings near them and receive the benefits Rotary membership can provide.