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Groups raise funds for student internet access 

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Headed by the San Juan Bautista Rotary and the Aromas-San Juan Community Schools Foundation, a coalition of community groups have raised $40,000 needed to secure a $200,000 federal grant to upgrade equipment to provide internet to local schools.

The 4-1 match from the federal E-Rate program will be used to purchase hardware and software needed to upgrade the IT system for the entire Aromas-San Juan Unified School District.

The grant is the latest successful effort of the Access Committee of the SJB Rotary Club. Rotary has set a goal to ensure a robust internet service for all district students and—eventually—all households in the Aromas-San Juan Bautista area.

“It is important to our Rotary Club that we bridge the digital divide in our community, the equity issue of our time,” said Phil Esparza, chair of the SJB Rotary Access Committee.

“This effort demonstrates our community working with the ASJUSD to provide the best education experience possible during these extremely challenging times,” said Michele Huntoon, superintendent of Aromas-San Juan Unified School District.

Donors were: SJB Rotary ($10,000), San Benito Health Foundation ($6,500), ASJ Community Schools Foundation ($5,000), Taylor Farms ($5,000), Supervisor Kollin Kosmicki ($3,000), Graniterock ($2,500), Hollister Super/Windmill Markets ($2,500), Strada Verde ($2,500), Al and Jackie Munoz ($1,000), South Valley Internet ($750), Kathy and Cesar Flores ($628), and Macaroni Marketing ($628).