YouTube video

(Santa Barbara Education Foundation video)

Cox Communications has announced is providing a $10,000 grant to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation for the Student Online & Academic Resources (SOAR) campaign to address the digital divide within the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

“The grant provided to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation is part of the commitment Cox has had to education since our founding,” said Kirsten McLaughlin, market vice president for Cox Communications in Santa Barbara.

“We are dedicated to providing innovative technology and supporting our students, teachers and schools to empower every student in this distance learning environment. We are grateful for the opportunity to work directly with the foundation and the school district this year to address the immediate needs their students and teachers have due to the pandemic and the shift to distance learning.”

With a goal of raising $250,000, the SOAR campaign aims to ensure that Santa Barbara’s children have access to the essential tools necessary to succeed in the current distance learning environment. The campaign will pay for families’ Internet access, essential learning tools such as noise-reducing headphones, access to healthy food, and staffing support for the district.

Cox’s commitment to make Connect2Compete, its low-cost Internet program for families whose children receive free or reduced lunch, free for two months for families that sign up before Sept. 30, provides the SOAR campaign with a head start on getting families connected while reducing the overall cost of the main component of the digital divide.

“When schools went remote last spring, the digital divide became much more than a ‘sound bite,’” said Margie Yahyavi, executive director of Santa Barbara Education Foundation. “It became glaringly real.

“Access to technology for all our students became urgent. We realized we have to step up as a community to ensure that our most vulnerable students continue to have access to a quality education so we are grateful for Cox’s continued support.”

Click here to learn about the campaign, or contact Yahyavi at or 805.284.9125.

About Cox Communications

Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, it proudly serves 6 million homes and businesses across 18 states. The company is dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that makes each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Ohio Gov. James M. Cox.

About Santa Barbara Education Foundation

The Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.