ARPA funds assigned to continue, expand GrandPad program


St. Louis County has allocated $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to continue the GrandPad tablet program in conjunction with the St. Louis County Library.

The GrandPad tablet is designed to meet the needs of those over the age of 75 to access technology and stay connected to loved ones throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial 1,500 GrandPad tablets were purchased using $1 million in federal CARES Act funds.

With the $2 million, $1 million will be used to pay for an additional year of the 1,500 GrandPads currently in use by county residents while the other $1 million will be used to purchase an additional 1,500 GrandPads for use by older adult residents.

“We heard from residents about how vital these GrandPad tablets were to help our older residents stay connected to family members during this pandemic,” County Executive Sam Page said. “I thank the council for allocating these funds and to the St. Louis County Library for administering this popular program.”

The GrandPads, checked out from the St. Louis County Library, are easy to use and were designed for use by people with little or no technology experience. A built-in data connection is included free with every GrandPad, giving users secure access to the internet. There is no home internet connection required, no data contracts required, and no additional fees involved.

“I’m pleased to see the council rally around our senior citizens and come together to support this important program,” said 5th District Councilwoman Lisa Clancy. “During this pandemic, GrandPads have been a lifeline for not just the seniors that use them but also for their families. I’m grateful we can keep the program going and also reach more people in need.”

The St. Louis County Library will announce details on the application process in the near future.

“We are so grateful to the County Council for supporting older adults in the region and for

expanding access to those that need it,” Kristen Sorth, St. Louis County Library director and CEO said. “Recently I received a handwritten note from a patron that said she equates her GrandPad with ‘winning the lottery.’ She wrote, ‘It has literally changed my life for the better!’”