Warwick, East Providence Boys & Girls Clubs get Cox innovation labs

MEMBERS OF THE Boys & Girls Club of Warwick look on as local officials cut the ribbon on the Cox innovation lab at the club. From second to the left are City Councilman Jeremy Rix; Rep. David Bennett, D-R.I.; club Executive Director Lara D'Antuono; Jay Allbaugh, Cox Communications senior vice president and region manager; and Cox Vice President of Regional Operations Charles Stauffer. / COURTESY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF WARWICK

WARWICK – Boys & Girls Club facilities in Warwick and East Providence have launched innovation labs featuring equipment such as virtual reality headsets and video consoles.

The labs, gifts from the James M. Cox Foundation and valued at $25,000 each, contain equipment that was specifically selected by each club.

The labs are intended to bridge the “digital divide” – a gap that can exist between schoolchildren, some of whom don’t have access to the internet and technology at home. As schools increasingly rely on new technology to conduct lessons and enable students to look for jobs and apply to college, students without access at home can feel left behind.

“When it comes to bridging the gap between school and home, your local Boys & Girls Club is working hard to ensure students don’t miss out on personal growth opportunities, or exposure to emerging fields they may want to someday work in,” said Lara D’Antuono, Boys & Girls Club of Warwick executive director. “We’re excited to partner with Cox on launching the new innovation lab to provide access to technology devices and software that has the potential to change a student’s life.”

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The Warwick club’s innovation lab will feature 10 touchscreen laptops; build-a-computer kits; Xbox One starter bundle; Little Bits Coding kits; VR headsets; a 360-degree camera; one Nintendo Switch; and one Nintendo VR kit.

The East Providence Boy & Girls Club’s innovation lab will include Surface Go tablets with rugged cases; Oculous Quest VR goggles; a Theta V 360-degree camera; one gaming tower bundle and chair; a new printer; a rolling charging cart; one high-top charging table; and one charging locker.

“At Cox, we’re proud to launch these new innovation labs at Boys and Girls Clubs around the state,” said Jay Allbaugh, Cox Communications senior vice president and region manager. “Rhode Island is our home, and we recognize the need to empower our students with the technology tools that position them to succeed in school and create opportunities to explore exciting new career paths.”

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