An educational partnership between three entities, St Patrick Academy in Providence, the North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation, Inc. (NACEPF), and Mobile Beacon, a subsidiary of NACEPF, has been expanded to include the hands-on study of U.S. history and exploration in archaeology.
Today, students from the St. Patrick Academy U.S. History II Honors course visited Verdant Pastures, where they received their first on-site lesson in “homestead” archaeology. The students searched for artifacts at the former site of a 20th century farmhouse; upon returning to the classroom, they will focus on researching the origins of the artifacts and writing essays on their findings.
“We are very fortunate to have a partnership with NACEPF and Mobile Beacon and to have access to this extraordinary farm,” says Principal, Christopher Myron. “It is important for our students to observe and gather research, and then apply what they have learned to their studies.”
NACEPF and Mobile Beacon are headquartered in Johnston, RI and the 170-acre farm, called Verdant Pastures, is the site in Scituate for outreach and programs. Along with the educational initiatives, Verdant Pastures raises produce in their greenhouses, which is then donated to local charities, such as food pantries, who serve Rhode Island’s food-insecure populations. St. Patrick Academy and NACEPF have enjoyed a long-standing collaboration in this endeavor. Produce has been harvested in the past by SPA students and faculty.
In spring 2022, St. Patrick Academy, NACEPF and Mobile Beacon produced a pilot program based on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum. In March through May of last year, SPA students conducted field observations on the farm, recorded their findings in journals and researched the history of the area. In the coming months, the students will study the applied sciences, and specifically agronomy, the science of soil management and crop production.
In support of the coursework, Mobile Beacon has provided mobile hotspots and unlimited broadband service for students while conducting field observations that require on-site internet access.
The land of Verdant Pastures has important historical significance for Rhode Island. It was formerly owned by the Governor Stephen Hopkins of Scituate, who signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
“NACEPF and Mobile Beacon are pleased to welcome St Patrick Academy students to Verdant Pastures,” said Katherine Messier, Vice President of NACEPF and Executive Director of Mobile Beacon. “We’re thrilled to bring this new curriculum to life by use of the farm. I hope this is the first of many opportunities where NACEPF and Mobile Beacon can support local schools, colleges, or universities across Rhode Island who are interested in creating their own curriculum.”
About St Patrick Academy: Founded in 2009 by Reverend James T. Ruggieri, St. Patrick Academy provides a Catholic college-preparatory education to all students, regardless of need, who aspire to spiritual, personal and academic excellence. Serving 100 students from metropolitan Rhode Island, SPA provides a rigorous curriculum, and offers a comprehensive program of athletics, after school and enrichment clubs, academic support services and tutoring, and personal and career counseling. St. Patrick Academy is rich in ethnic diversity - in fact, thirty-one countries are represented in our student body. Most of our students are the first in their families to attend college and many are the children of immigrants. Approximately 75% of our student population is of Hispanic heritage, 20% of African American heritage and 5% are from other ethnic heritages. Additionally, over half of our students speak more than one language at home, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and Cape Verdean Creole.
At St. Patrick Academy, no student is turned away due to an inability to pay tuition. This year, St. Patrick Academy will award more than $900,000 in tuition assistance, thanks to the generosity of generous donors, Diocesan assistance and foundation grants. For more information visit the website: https://www.stpatsri.org/.
About NACEPF: North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation, Inc. (NACEPF) is a Rhode Island-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the second largest Educational Broadband Service (EBS) licensee in the United States. NACEPF’s broadband service, religious and educational programming, and advocacy efforts support education at every level. NACEPF’s worldwide philanthropic efforts focus on providing access to the resources essential to human development and well-being. This includes access to healthy food, clean water, safe housing, education, healthcare, and faith-based services. NACEPF’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Mobile Beacon, provides broadband service to educational, nonprofit, and community anchor institutions throughout the United States. To learn more, visit www.nacepf.net.
The five bidders winning the largest number of licenses were as follows:
BidderNumber of Licenses Won
T-Mobile License 7,156
North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation 107
Evergy Kansas Central 54
LICT Wireless Broadband Company 46
Broadband One of the Midwest 42Most of the available spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band is located in rural areas.
Read the full story at telecomlead.com.
"-The top five licenses winners based on total gross bids were T-Mobile US at $304.3 million; PTI Pacifica at $17.7 million; TeleGuam Holdings at $16.6 million; Evergy Kansas Central at $12.7 million; and Cellular South at $11.9 million. In terms of which companies won the most individual licenses, the top five were T-Mo with 7,156 licenses; the North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation with 107; Evergy Kansas Central with 54 licenses; LICT Wireless Broadband Company with 46; and Broadband One of the Midwest with 42 licenses."
Read the full story at rcrwireless.com
"The auction provided up to three blocks of spectrum, totaling 117.5MHz in each county. In terms of the number of licenses won, the second-place finisher was the North American Catholic Educational Programming Fund. Its winning bids totaled $7.8 million and cover 107 licenses in 84 counties.
There were 63 winning bidders overall, and the auction raised $427.8 million. Small entities and rural service providers were given discounts on the license costs. The 2.5 GHz spectrum was originally set aside for educational institutions but has been repurposed for commercial service."
Read the full story at arstechnica.com
"T-Mobile was expected to be the primary major player in the auction since the spectrum fits with holes it has in its coverage areas. One veteran spectrum watcher said likely the only reason most other carriers would be bidding was to bid up how much their competitor, T-Mobile, would have to pay to fill those holes.
There were no other big-name winners, with the second-most licenses won (107) by the North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation and the second gross bid total recorded by PTI Pacifica Inc."
Read the full article at nexttv.com.
North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation Inc. (NACEPF) is sad to announce the passing of our former Vice President, Barbara Primeau. Barbara served as the Vice President and Director of NACEPF for 32 years.
Her intelligence, selflessness, faith, and passion were instrumental in building NACEPF. Her numerous responsibilities included helping to produce NACEPF's educational newsletter, selecting qualified teachers for NACEPF's distance learning courses, and sharing the impact of NACEPF's mission. She was deeply involved in the organization's ministry efforts, and she championed many of NACEPF's philanthropic programs including building schools, providing healthcare, and feeding children in some of the poorest areas of the world. She often said, “children cannot learn on an empty stomach.” As a former social worker, her dedication to helping people realize their full potential guided her as she led with both practicality and compassion.
Barbara was beloved in our community and we are all mourning the immense loss. We invite you to read what some of our partners shared about Barbara.
Full details about her life and services can be found here.
NACEPF and Mobile Beacon Submit Comments In the Matter of Auction of Flexible-Use Service Licenses in the 2.5 GHz Band for Next-Generation Wireless Services
The North American Catholic Programming Education Foundation (NACEPF) and Mobile Beacon submitted comments on May 4, 2021, in response to the Federal Communications Commission in the Matter of Auction of Flexible-Use Service Licenses in the 2.5 GHz Band for Next-Generation Wireless Services.
Read the full comments here.
The North American Catholic Education Programming Foundation Inc. (NACEPF) and Mobile Beacon are astonished that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has moved forward with a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) alleging that NACEPF failed to meet certain educational requirements, which the FCC voted to rescind over a year ago. Among many other flaws, the NALs ignore NACEPF’s well established and proven track record of working with local schools and providing robust educational benefits both in its FCC-licensed markets and throughout the United States.
NACEPF’s broadband service is distributed through its subsidiary, Mobile Beacon, which was formed 10 years ago for the specific purpose of making high-speed broadband available to the education and nonprofit sectors. Each of the tens of thousands of mobile broadband devices we have provided throughout the United States delivers free or low-cost unlimited, uncapped, high-speed broadband service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Read the full statement.
Johnston, RI – The educational nonprofit, North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation, Inc. (NACEPF), and its subsidiary Mobile Beacon are proud to announce the donation of over $400,000 to support the educational programs of buildOn. buildOn empowers U.S. youth to transform their neighborhoods and the world through intensive community service. Globally, they’re constructing a new school every two days in some of the economically poorest countries around the world.
This year, NACEPF committed to building 10 additional primary schools and financially supporting the establishment of 14 adult literacy programs in Mali, Malawi, Senegal, Nepal, and Haiti. Mobile Beacon is funding the service-learning series that occurs in 28 high schools in six under-served urban regions across the country. buildOn’s Service Learning Programs empower students to become leaders in their communities by exploring the challenges they face and developing solutions through volunteer service.
Read the full press release.
“The North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation, Inc. (NACEPF) and Mobile Beacon are gravely concerned about the long-term consequences of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s decision today to dismantle the last 50+ years of public policy that designated a modest portion of licensed spectrum to educational entities to serve their communities. This Order not only abandons that policy but also ignores the record. 95% of all individuals and organizations that submitted comments in this proceeding supported keeping EBS educational and provided abundant examples of ways existing EBS programs are closing the digital divide throughout the U.S. today.
The consequences of this vote are too serious to get lost in the 5G hype. In the last decade, every time the FCC has granted an EBS waiver to an educational institution or tribal entity, those entities built networks that provide more affordable internet access to more rural Americans than anything available directly from the commercial sector. This is a stunning success record. Educational institutions and tribes have produced better results in less time, with less spectrum, and with less financial resources than the very providers that already hold 625 MHz of spectrum below 3 GHz, which is not being deployed in these same rural areas. While we’re pleased the FCC moved forward with a priority window for tribes, this Order unreasonably ‘declined’ to give new, rural educational institutions the opportunity to replicate these successes in the future.
Read the full statement here.