CiH Graduates first Palmerston North users of Spark Jump

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The 14 new graduates from the 20/20 Trust’s Computers in Homes graduation ceremony at Te Aroha Noa in Palmerston North

Recent graduates from the 20/20 Trust’s Computers in Homes (CiH) programme are the first Palmerston North families to use Spark Jump, to unleash their potential through connectivity at home.

Last week at the graduation ceremony at Te Aroha Noa, Spark Foundation announced the availability of Spark Jump in Palmerston North.

Spark Jump is an initiative for social change so that more New Zealand children can use the internet at home to learn and go on to thrive in the modern digital economy. Selected families in Palmerston North will receive a modem and a subsidised wireless broadband connection and pay only $15 for 30GB with no fixed term contract.

The Spark Foundation also announced a new partnership with the Palmerston North DIGITS programme that aims to provide digital devices, internet connections and digital literacy tuition to 1,000 households with school-aged children in Palmerston North by 2018. DIGITS is the fifth organisation in the country to deliver Spark Jump and will be offering the service from the start of the new school year.

Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith, who is also the chairperson of the city’s Digital Leader’s Forum believes the initiative is a very positive for the city.

To mark the availability of Spark Jump in Highbury, two tablets from Simon Moutter are being gifted during the Computers in Homes graduation ceremony at Te Aroha Noa today, celebrating 14 families completing the programme.
Graduate Cherylee Hemopo receives her tablet from Mark Smith, Spark’s Area Manager Manawatu
Shauntae Timoti receives one of two tablets from Simon Moutter, gifted to mark the availability of Spark Jump in Highbury.
Graduate Shauntae Timoti receives one of two tablets gifted to mark the availability of Spark Jump in Highbury.

“It will enable hundreds of our city’s youngest citizens to learn and explore the world while at home. Access to the internet is important to ensure all of our children can thrive in a future-focused learning environment and be more exposed to the digital world. This will open many more doors for them,” said Smith.

Highbury is the suburb is where Spark Managing Director Simon Moutter grew up, attending Somerset Crescent School, Monrad Intermediate and Palmerston North Boys’ High. Given his personal connection to the local community, he is pleased that Spark Jump can make a difference to the learning of children living there today.

“Growing up in a working class suburb like Highbury gave me a great grounding in life and fundamentally shaped my work ethic,” said Moutter.

“In today’s digital economy, access to broadband is an important enabler to help children maximise their learning, get a good start in life and unleash their potential. Making the programme work for local families is key and we’re pleased to be collaborating with DIGITS and 20/20 who know the digital technology needs of Palmerston North families.”

Families can check if Spark Jump partners are in their area by visiting sparkfoundation.org.nz/sparkjump. Selected community-based organisations will identify and refer eligible customers to Spark.

More information

  • New graduate starts business in the digital world – links to the Manawatu Guardian coverage of the graduation and Graduate Cherylee Hemopo’s use of the Internet for her new business
  • There are more than 1,000 families with school-aged children in Palmerston North without internet access (Census 2013)
  • 32% of households with dependent children do not have access to the internet in the Highbury area (Census 2013)
  • Spark Jump uses the Skinny Broadband platform and provides wireless home broadband via a 4G mobile signal connecting with the nearest cell tower
  • Families with school-aged children who currently lack broadband at home and have a suitable 4G coverage are eligible for the programme
  • DIGITS is the fifth organization to come on board with Spark Jump, joining 20/20 Trust, The Greater Christchurch Schools Network, Web Access Waikato Trust*, and Nga Pumanawa e Waru*.  (* 20/20 Trust programme delivery partners)
  • Spark Jump is available to families who participate in the Computers in Homes programme as well as others in the community. Interested families can attend a Spark Jump briefing to learn how to set up their modems and how to stay safe online by contacting the 20/20 Trust.

Information contacts

Laurence Zwimpfer, National Operations Manager, 20/20 Trust
027 430 6737  laurence.zwimpfer@2020.org.nz

Sera Jeong, Marketing & Communications Assistant, Spark Foundation
027 536 5192  Sera.jeong@spark.co.nz