Learning To Be The Light began in August 2011 as
blog designed to
bring to the attention of the public that not all
Hoover City School students had access to broadband.
The goal of the blog, entitled "Let's GET HOOVER
ONLINE", was to have the three major broadband
providers in Hoover, Alabama, provide low-cost
internet access to those families who had students
in the Hoover City School system who qualified under
the federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program.
Initially all three broadband providers in Hoover,
AT&T, Charter Communications, and Brighthouse
Networks declined to even entertain the concept of
providing low-income families cheap broadband access
($10.00/mo.), similar to what Comcast Communications
had done in those markets that they served.
After communicating with local, state and federal
officials, some progress was made, but not the
ultimate goal. Unbeknownst to Let's GET HOOVER
ONLINE and staff members of officials, the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) was implementing
their own mandated plan to require all broadband
companies to provide a low-cost plan to eligible
students. This mandate
was announced in November 2011.
That took care of the broadband issue, but it
didn't address entirely the equipment issue.
These students still needed a way to get on the
internet if they didn't have a computer.
At about the same time as the Let's GET HOOVER
ONLINE action was taking place, Robin Schultz,
longtime Bluff Park resident and founder of the
Bluff Park Neighborhood Web Site was approached by
the directors of the newly formed Artists on the
Bluff facility in Bluff Park (formerly the Bluff
Park Community School). Schultz was asked to
help install wi-fi access to the new facility, as
well as develop the Artists of the Bluff web site,
and to maintain the Artists on the Bluff computer
lab. Schultz works as a system engineer and
computer consultant, so he has an extensive
background in these areas.
Schultz, along with company intern Olivia
Lenamond, a Hoover High School senior, came up with
the idea of Learning To Be The Light, or LTBTL, as
it came to be known. LTBTL would use the
Artists on the Bluff computer lab to refurbish
computers and prepare them for usage by low-income
Hoover City School families. The computers
would be given to LTBTL by people who no longer had
a need for them. Schultz and Lenamond, who
will be going into the computer field after college,
would wipe the PCs clean, re-install the operating
system, install freeware programs, and deliver and
install the PCs. Names of families would be
provided by Hoover City Schools.
The name "Learning To Be The Light" comes from a
song by the group
The song is based on the Bible verse in Matthew
5:16, and truly fitting for the LTBTL project.
If you have equipment that you'd like to give,
but are unsure if we can use it, send us an e-mail
with details of what you have, and we'll let you
know if we can use it.