Haverhill High Celebrates with Markey and Trahan Federal Money to Keep Students Connected

Sen. Edward J. Markey takes a selfie at Haverhill High School. (WHAV News photograph.)

Sen. Edward J. Markey and Congresswoman Lori Trahan came to Haverhill High School this week to celebrate one of the largest federal grants to come to the area and aimed at keeping students connected.

Following up on a story reported first by WHAV last month, Haverhill schools received $823,630 from the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund. The program provides money to schools and libraries to help cover costs of laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff and library patrons. Markey noted the money came from a $7 billion COVID-19 relief package.

“To the credit of Haverhill, they won $823,000 in order to make sure there was a universal distribution of this digital skill set,” he said.

Trahan continued, talking about the practical impact of the money. “So that we can ensure that never again in our country will one student in one zip code, or even in the same zip code in some instances, not have to sit in a parking lot at a fast-food restaurant or in a library to log on and do their homework,” she explained.

Both of the legislators noted their humble upbringings as proof any student can succeed.

“My father grew up on the first floor of a triple-decker in south Lawrence, five children, and my father’s son is a United States’ senator,” Markey told students. Trahan noted she is a first-generation college graduate, having won a volleyball scholarship to attend Georgetown University.

Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta and Haverhill High Principal Jason Meland welcomed the federal legislative delegation as well as City Councilor Catherine P. Rogers and School Committee member Richard J. Rosa and state leaders including Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, Christina Minicucci and Andy X. Vargas. While students were invited to ask questions, Vargas turned it around, asking students to tell legislators what they need.

“The same way you’re asking us what should this money go to, ask yourselves that same question because each and every single one of you have a lived experience every single day that can help guide the policymakers that you see up here to make sure that funding is going where it needs to go,” he said.

The mayor used the opportunity to address rumors and gossip exploited by out-of-town media.

“We have about little under 2,000 students at Haverhill High School and I want to remind the press that if two kids have a difficulty in school or get into a problem, that means there are 1,998 students that didn’t,” he declared.

Besides Haverhill Public Schools, Hill View Montessori Charter Public School in Haverhill received $88,335. Methuen Public Schools was also awarded $532,476, and Lawrence Family Development Charter School received $158,000; Lawrence Family Development Education Fund, $28,354; and Central Catholic High School, $15,200.

Comments are closed.