Blog Insight

GLG Launches Campaign to Address the Digital Divide in Idaho

The pandemic has shone a light on a myriad of inequities in our country, including racism, healthcare, employment, and yes, education. Here in Idaho, the state has a looming crisis. A recent state survey revealed that nearly 200,000 students are without a laptop, and 30,000 lack internet connectivity.* With the 2020–2021 school session beginning in mid-August, remote learning is a certainty, but the future for these children is not. At The Garrigan Lyman Group (GLG), we believe education is critical to solving the inequalities in the world, and we feel like Idaho is right in deeming the situation a crisis.

Because of this, GLG is partnering with Idaho Business for Education to Close the Divide with an integrated marketing campaign that blankets the state of Idaho. GLG is donating and dedicating its strategic, creative, and digital muscle to raise awareness of the crisis and mobilize the citizens of Idaho to place the power of technology in EVERY student’s hands.

Our statewide advertising campaign is now in market. Idahoans are seeing a compelling, branded, integrated marketing and advertising effort in organic and paid social media, full-page newspaper advertisements from just about every print publication in the state, television commercials, digital ads, outdoor digital display, and email. The eight-week effort focuses on raising awareness of the crisis in the first two weeks. We’ll then shift our messaging leading up to “Close the Divide Day,” where hundreds of volunteers will be waiting to receive spare laptops from companies and residents all day long on August 5. We’ll have live television cut-ins throughout the day at a number of key donation sites to get the word out.  And those volunteers will have a nifty software program that cleans and deletes all the data from each machine and makes it ready for school.

So, mark your calendar for August 5 right now. Look around and see if there’s an iPad or laptop you just aren’t using anymore. Find the closest drop-off point for you. Drop-off points are being added by the day around the state.

And if you don’t have a computer lying around, you can make a donation: $350 sponsors a student with a new Google Chromebook with Wi-Fi, and $7,000 sponsors a classroom. Our campaign continues to mobilize the state through the first day of school.

As of this writing, the Spokane Teachers Credit Union is providing support for the paid media efforts and is sponsoring 100 students. The Innovia Foundation has contributed $10,000 to the campaign. And donations from individuals are pouring in to the website.

In a country built on entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, our future is dependent on a brilliant education for tomorrow’s workforce. All of us at GLG are grateful for the members of Idaho Business for Education, and we’re proud to help them create a bigger impact and realize a greater future.

 

*Devin Bodkin, Survey: More Than 175,000 Idaho Kids Lack Remote Learning Devices, Idaho Ed News website, July 7, 2020, https://www.idahoednews.org/news/survey-more-than-175000-idaho-kids-lack-remote-learning-devices.