Ellisville Library seeking Emergency Connectivity Fund to bring internet to Jones County community

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Laurel-Jones County Public Library System has applied for a federal grant that will bring access to Jones County area.

As students and teachers return to the classroom, the Laurel-Jones County Library System is applying for the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund, which could supply more than $7 billion to help libraries and schools in the United States provide better access to internet during the COVID-19 emergency period.

“The first thing that I would say to the grant writers is to please look at our school district in Laurel. We got to do something to break this cycle and bring up our graduation rates, bring up our testing rates. Mississippi ranges at the bottom of almost every list. We want that to stop. It’s got to stop, and we need their help to get us off the bottom,” said Michelle Jones-Anderson, Ellisville Branch Manager.

The Jones County School system did not apply for this grant, according to Anderson.

Library officials asked for 50 Cradlepoint hotspots that will go in all the community centers, the housing authority and extras will go in churches. According to the county office, nearly of 10,000 students are enrolled in the Jones County School system. Library officials said they will also purchase phonics-based literacy programs with the grant funding to help with the children’s learning.

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