TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that, as part of the Technology for Families Grant Program, the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund distributed $636,066 to support connectivity for families in need representing 86 Kansas counties. 

Governor Kelly’s SPARK taskforce recommended that CARES Act funding be available to increase digital access for families, which was part of the Round 2 proposals approved by the State Finance Council in July.

“We know that digital infrastructure is a critical need for families not only during a pandemic to access online education and telehealth services, but also for the long-term economic opportunities that technology provides,” Governor Kelly said. “I appreciate members of my SPARK Taskforce and the SFC for making these needs a priority.”

The Technology for Families Grant Program ensures Kansas families with young children can still access vital home visiting services that have shifted to a virtual environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds were distributed for connectivity supports and devices to 40 organizations who provide home visiting services through a grant application process. Grantees identified over 1,700 families, and will work closely with them to identify the device and connectivity supports that best meet the unique technology needs of each family.

This is the first round of grant selections. A total of $1.5 million has been made available for the program and additional selections will occur on an ongoing basis.

“We’re very pleased that our first round of selections will increase internet access for families all across Kansas,” said Melissa Rooker, Executive Director of KCCTF. “I want to thank Governor Kelly, the SPARK taskforce and legislators for providing this much needed support to Kansas families.”