Company makes major food, technology donation to local schools

Students in Dayton Public Schools and the DECA charter schools are getting significant food aid and school technology help thanks to donations from The Connor Group, a local real estate investment firm, the parties announced Thursday.

The Connor Group said it is spending roughly $150,000 on a food drive for the Dayton Early College Academy schools and another $250,000 to supply wifi hotspots to 1,300 DECA and Dayton Public Schools students so they can do schoolwork online.

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Connor Group officials said through “relationships and negotiations” with information technology vendors and grocery wholesalers, the value of the two projects has surpassed $1 million. Sprint is the partner providing in-kind donations for the wifi hotspots, according to the Connor Group.

“Two of our district’s core values are ‘do what’s right’ and ‘invest deeply in relationships,’” said DECA deputy superintendent Dave Taylor. “In times like these, we have to live those values more than ever. It’s great to have people in the business community – like the folks at The Connor Group – aligned with what we do for students and families.”

The wifi partnership with DPS will put activated cell phones with hotspot instructions in the homes of some district high school students. Upperclassmen and students taking College Credit Plus courses will be given priority.

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DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli called quality internet access “a game-changer” for students trying to fulfill graduation requirements, do college work, and prepare for full-time college.

The groceries – which Connor Group associates helped acquire and distribute – help fill the gap for families who cannot access other available food programs due to a lack of transportation or other barriers.

“As a company, we believe in doing the right thing and leading from the front – especially in situations like this,” said Connor Group managing partner Larry Connor. “The minute we found out schools were shutting down, we began putting plans in place to make sure students’ needs were met.”

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