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Home Industry Releases Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation, MITO Corporation and Elkhart Community Schools...

Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation, MITO Corporation and Elkhart Community Schools Collaborate to Bridge the Digital Divide for Distance and E-learning during COVID-19

Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation Interns' research helped Elkhart Community Schools develop plan for deploying WiFi to bridge the socioeconomic digital divide in their community for E-Learning. Elkhart based supplier to OEM Bus Industry, MITO Corporation, engaged with the two groups to offer a WiFi solution that fits their needs at a discounted rate. The program was funded through the Cares Act, with Verizon providing the LTE Source. MITO Corporation's, MITO Proline Division has been a provider of electronics to the School Bus and Transit Industry for over 20 years. The WiFi interior CORE router can be used to broadcast a wifi hotspot source to all users in the bus while stationary or while in transit.

Elkhart, Ind. — MITO Corporation, innovators in bringing mobile technology for Comfort, Convenience & Safety to the RV, Marine, Automotive & Bus Industry, is proud to announce their collaboration with Elkhart Community Schools and the Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) Summer Internship Program at the University of Notre Dame, to outfit at least 25 busses with WiFiRanger Teton C-19 broadcast units and Core interior routers to provide internet access for several hundred students in the Elkhart area.

Jason Inman, Director of Technology Services for Elkhart Community Schools who oversees the deployment of technology used within the school district, began working with the CCI interns to identify a solution for distance e-learning challenges Elkhart faced in the last few months of the previous school year due to COVID-19.

Four interns, representing Elkhart High School and Goshen College, worked on the project through CCI, including Irving Suarez, a senior psychology and biology double major at Goshen College. Jose Chiquito Galvan, CCI internship program manager for Elkhart, managed the team.

“Anecdotally, we knew there was a need (for affordable WiFI), and even more so now with the pandemic. But we didn’t know exactly where it was concentrated.” Galvan said. “The goal of the surveys was to get an understanding of the overall need for WiFi access.”

“Once we saw the results of the surveys, the primary goal was to provide reliable internet to students in South Central Elkhart,” said Suarez, who was born in Elkhart and grew up in Goshen.

Coincidentally it was their survey that ultimately led MITO Corporation to reach out with a solution that fits their mission.

“While we had been marketing our WiFiRanger C-19 bus product line since the start of the pandemic, it wasn’t until we received the intern’s demographic survey of Elkhart County that MITO learned of this initiative.” Said Dan Maloney, President of MITO Corporation. “I approached MITO Owner, Mike Stock who is an Elkhart School Graduate and he was 100% on board for doing whatever we could as a company to help our local community and his alma mater.”

The outdoor WiFi hotspots Elkhart Community Schools will be deployed through the CARES Act and will have an omnidirectional range of about 2,000 feet. Verizon will provide the internet service for the hotspots under a program that offers discounts to school corporations. MITO is offering its own discount on the broadcast hardware, which, according to Inman, is already more affordable and reliable than competing products that are being used elsewhere in the area.

The outreach by MITO was facilitated by Andrew Tate, owner of Three Fires Creative and the marketing representative for MITO Corporation.

“We immediately knew this would be a golden opportunity for MITO to do some goodwill in our own backyard in these uncertain times. We knew we had a hyper-competitive product that could translate the Notre Dame CCI interns’ hard work and study into a real-world solution.” Says Tate, “It gives myself, and I’m sure, all other parties that came together, great satisfaction to help our community, but also by showing North Central Indiana entities can come together to solve major problems will reinforce the innovative strength and economic development of the Northern Indiana area as a whole.”

Those looking for more information on the WiFi Solution go to www.student-wifi.com, email oem-sales@mitocorp.com, or call 574-295-2441

About Mito Corporation

When MITO Corporation was established in 1974, we wanted our customers to depend on us for the best service, merchandise and delivery. Although the philosophy is simple in theory, achieving it is an ongoing process. It takes a lot of hard work, total commitment to our customers and the desire to always be the best. We think we’ve done it. And over the next several decades, you have our word that we’re going to continue striving to be the best, because you deserve it.

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