After being a finalist for three out of the last four years, the City of Council Bluffs has won the award of All-American City, recognizing the community's success in the area of early literacy.
Mayor Matt Walsh says to be selected as one of the top 25 cities nationwide is quite an honor, especially considering they were competing against cities like Dallas and Salt Lake City.
Walsh says this year’s focus on students reading at grade-level, especially by the third grade, is a goal the Council Bluffs Community Schools has made great progress toward. He says community partners like the Iowa West Foundation and Google have been integral to this success. Walsh says each child from 2nd grade on now has a laptop, and, that most of them now have access to free Wi-Fi.
“The City and the Council Bluffs School District have designed Blink, which is Bluffs Link, and it is a free Wi-Fi System, that was intentionally designed to make sure that children in low economic development areas whose parents couldn’t afford the internet would have access to the internet. They have their homework and assignments on a laptop, so we’ve put in, now, free Wi-Fi network in everything north of Broadway and west of about 8th Street .”
Walsh says eventually all of Council Bluffs will have free Wi-Fi, and that if it were done today it would be the largest free Wi-Fi network in the world.
For more information, the website is www.councilbluffs-ia.gov