Comcast kicks off year two of program to connect more students to the Internet
by thenotebook on Sep 24 2012 Posted in Latest news
By Charlotte Pope
Superintendent William Hite and Mayor Nutter came together with Comcast on Friday morning for a press conference at Constitution High School to announce the second year of Internet Essentials, a program giving low-income Philadelphia students and families access to broadband Internet service.
Internet Essentials offers discounted home Internet services, vouchers for purchasing low-cost computers, and free digital literacy training. This year the program has expanded to include families with children eligible to receive either a free or reduced-price school lunch as part of their enrollment in the National School Lunch Program. Nearly 300,000 additional households across the United States are now eligible for the program.
In the first year of the program, Comcast connected more than 100,000 families or 400,000 low-income Americans to the Internet.
“We are talking about changing kids lives forever,” said Comcast president and CEO Brian Roberts.
Constitution High School senior Nadiya Gipson said that students today have “homework from all different topics,” so using the Internet to stay on top of their work is critical.
“You can’t just look at textbooks anymore,” she said.
“[The] Internet helps you learn more. Homework goes faster [with it], and you can explore different things. It’s more interactive and keeps kids wanting to learn.”
Malonie McKnight, a freshman, said “I think the Internet program is important for students who don’t have the ability to go to the library. Now they can come home to the Internet and be able to work on projects or look up information about college opportunities.”
Superintendent William Hite said he spoke to three students, one who is already using the Internet to make college plans.
“She’s a 9th grader looking at college information in a more dynamic way, not just a static picture of a school on a page. So this is so important for families,” Hite said.
“If people do not have that type of access, they are at a distinct disadvantage because what we do and what we know comes from some form of technology, so I think this is a valuable resource.”