'Rolling Study Hall' hits Berkeley County streets

Rolling Study Hall (Lindsey Maloney/WCIV)

Google was in the Lowcountry Monday, helping to get the gears turning in the minds of Berkeley County kids.

Nearly 2,000 students got Google Chrome books, and will now have access to free Wi-Fi on school buses. It's all made possible with a new program called Rolling Study Hall.

With the new program, education doesn't end when the bell rings. It continues on their bus ride home. Some students in Berkeley County spend 45 minutes to an hour on the bus each way.

"Then, they get home and they're like, 'oh my God, I forgot about this homework.' And it's almost time for them to go to bed, and their up until 12 o'clock trying to finish projects and homework," student Angelina Wall said.

Google is hoping to change that.

"A rolling study hall (is) addressing the need for Internet access and devices for kids that just don't have it," Lilyn Hester, head of Southeast Government Affairs at Google said.

Technology at their fingertips and access to free Wi-Fi is now getting students excited.

"To know that we're the first school in South Carolina, that's mind-blowing," Wall said.

“The best way to get a child to learn is to get them excited, because when things are fun, they take a bigger part in it," Mayor John Rivers said.

The new school buses are like an after school tutoring session on wheels.

"It's that structured time that they have with a certified instructor on the bus, helping the students with their academic program," Deon Jackson, BCSD interim superintendent said.

Administrators hope the initiative will open doors to endless opportunities.

Google invested $180,000 for the state’s first rolling study initiative.

North Carolina is the only other state to try it out. They have seen grades and homework percentages go up since the program started.

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