In 2013, we found that hundreds of students in Forsyth County did not have the technology necessary to succeed in the highly technical environment that school is today. The county relies on online work a great deal and so many students were having to go to the library or a Starbucks to access assignments because they did not have internet in their homes. Additionally, many did not and do not have internet capable devices that make this work possible either.
So, we made it our mission to bridge this gap and help these students try to break the cycle of generational poverty that so many of them are born to.
In the last five years, we have raised and donated just over $220,000 to the Forsyth County Schools for this purpose. Our purpose is to raise awareness of the problem and find sponsors to donate or raise money outright through our two yearly fundraisers, the BYOT Golf Tournament in May and the iRUN for BYOT 5K & FunRun in October. We raise the money and give it to the school district. They have staff in place to first determine which students are in need and then to purchase and distribute internet hotspots or devices to that family.
Each hotspot device not only helps the student receiving it, but the whole family and often neighbors as well because up to ten devices can connect to any one hotspot. The school district staff programs these devices so that there are times when they cannot be used and websites they cannot visit. Staff also monitors the sites that are being seen as well, for safety purposes.
In recent years, the need has shifted more toward internet connected devices with keyboards (think Chromebooks here) as opposed to home internet as the price for home internet seems to have come down some.
The Forsyth BYOT Benefit appreciates the support of the Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Club's "Flags For Education" fundraiser. Sales will benefit the Forsyth BYOT Benefit. Please consider sponsoring their initiative. Click their logo to download a form to support this effort.
On December 18, 2017, Jim and Peggie Morrow presented the largest check to date to the Forsyth County Board of Education.
The 2017 edition of the Forsyth BYOT Benefit raised and donated $51,248 to Dr. Jeff Bearden and the board at their December meeting.
A new video showing why this is necessary can be seen here!
Dr. Jim and Peggie Morrow learned in 2013 that there were over 2000 families in Forsyth County who did not have Internet in their homes. With so much of the schoolwork requiring online access, they decided to try to make a difference in the lives of those who did not have the privileges of others.
And now, students are expected to study and complete assignments online whenever there is an inclement weather day. Can you imagine what it would be to have no Internet access - even for one day?
Perhaps this video will help you understand the need better.
In 2013, The Morrow Community Foundation started a benefit to support the Forsyth County Schools' BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) initiative, which seeks to improve the use of and access to the types of technology that students will be using as students and as adults.
In its first five years, The Forsyth BYOT Benefit has donated over $220,000 to the Forsyth County Schools, placing Internet in several hundred homes, providing devices to deserving students who were without, and improved the Media Centers in most schools.
In 2018, we have set our sights on a loftier goal and believe that the generous people and businesses of Forsyth County will again see their way to assist these students. We invite you to peruse our website, see what we have done, and decide how you’d like to be a part of this very important effort.
We are very proud to now be a part of the North Georgia Community Foundation. This regional 501(c)3 provides us with the accounting detail and support that will help us continue to support the local schools and students even better than we previously could.
a charity of the Morrow Community Foundation