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Comcast and One Economy Partner in Comcast Digital Connectors Program
Apr 06, 2010 (04:04 PM EDT)


Innovative Program Teaches Morgantown Youth Digital Literacy and Leadership Skills

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Comcast and One Economy today highlighted a major technology learning and service initiative that teaches young people about broadband technologies and how to put that knowledge to work to serve the Morgantown community.  The program, Comcast Digital Connectors, is taking place during after-school hours at the Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club in Morgantown as well as in other locations across the United States.

In the Comcast Digital Connectors program, 25 high school students who attend Monongalia County Schools and come from diverse and low-income backgrounds gather at the Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club four times a week after school throughout the year to learn digital literacy skills.  The young people will then volunteer their time at community-based organizations, senior centers, churches and even in their own homes to help improve digital literacy.  Additionally, they are being mentored by local Comcast employees, who are helping develop leadership skills among the young people and lending expertise.

Among those celebrating the Comcast Digital Connectors program today in Morgantown were West Virginia delegates Barbara Evans Fleischauer and Robert D. Beach, Morgantown mayor William Byrne and deputy mayor Don Spencer.

"This is a really exciting and extremely important initiative for Comcast and the Comcast Foundation.  Developing digital literacy skills in young people is essential to their future," said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation.  "Along with digital education, young people from diverse communities will experience a unique opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of others by cultivating leadership skills, impacting their neighborhoods through community service and preparing for their bright futures in the workforce."

One Economy founded the Digital Connectors' program and curriculum in 2003. Today there are youth engaged in Digital Connectors programs throughout the United States as well as similar digital literacy initiatives in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria.

As the nation's largest residential Internet service provider, Comcast is contributing to One Economy's mission to maximize the potential of technology in cities and towns across the country.  Comcast's commitment to the Digital Connectors initiative will also help One Economy increase the number of youth who will benefit from the program.  To date, nearly 3,000 young people have contributed more than 56,000 hours of community service through the Digital Connectors initiative.  The One Economy-Comcast partnership aims to double the number of participants in the program and the hours of service they contribute to their communities.

"The Comcast Digital Connectors program is a great opportunity for young people in Morgantown," said Jim Samaha, Senior Vice President of Comcast's Keystone Region. "It will teach them the technology skills needed to advance in education and in the workforce, and instill the importance of passing on that knowledge to their neighbors, friends and family in order to improve their lives and community."

The curriculum for Comcast Digital Connectors covers several broad areas to help the program's participants learn real world applications for broadband technology.  Modules include leadership principles, real world learning opportunities, digital technology skills development, community service, financial literacy and civic journalism. The students will learn how to network computer labs, connect wireless access points and create video documentaries.  Additionally, they will be given instruction in entrepreneurship, healthy living, career and character development.  The program also will include creative media projects intended to inspire the Digital Connectors to put broadband and Internet technology to their greatest use in their communities.

"Comcast has been an invaluable partner to One Economy and our mission to empower underserved communities through the use of technology," said Karla Ballard, Vice President of Social Innovation, One Economy Corporation. "This partnership will help us further tap into the great potential of young people and ensure that our youth have the resources and tools they need to develop, grow and lead in a digital economy."

Said Dennis Poluga, Director of the Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club, "Comcast is all about quality, and the Mountaineer Club is all about excellence – a great combination for a powerful and sustainable partnership. Comcast is always looking for ways to make an impact in the communities they serve, and with the help of the Comcast Digital Connectors Program, teens at the Mountaineer Club will improve their information technology skills and reach out to help others in the Morgantown area. It is a win-win for everyone."

In addition to Morgantown, the Comcast Digital Connectors program will be launched in 21 locations across the nation by the end of 2010.  Locations include Washington, D.C. (launched in July); Houston, Texas (launched in October); Springfield, Massachusetts (launched in November), Miami, Florida; Hanford, California; Dearborn, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Tallahassee, Florida; West Palm Beach, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Tacoma, Washington; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and others to be determined.

Comcast powers dreams in the communities it serves by providing access to innovative technology, volunteering time, giving financial support and partnering with organizations to make communities stronger.  The company focuses its community investment initiatives on building tomorrow's leaders, promoting community service and expanding digital literacy.  Since 2001, Comcast has provided $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind support to national and local non-profit organizations in 39 states and Washington D.C.  The company has made a $1.2 million commitment to sponsor the Digital Connectors program for three years, beginning in 2009.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.6 million cable customers, 15.9 million high-speed Internet customers, and 7.6 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.

Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, 11 regional sports networks operated by Comcast Sports Group and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet businesses, including Comcast.net (www.comcast.net). Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, which owns two professional sports teams, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, and a large, multipurpose arena in Philadelphia, the Wachovia Center, and manages other facilities for sporting events, concerts and other events.

About the Comcast Foundation

The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities.  The Foundation's focus areas are expanding digital literacy, building tomorrow's leaders and promoting community service.  Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $77 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/inthecommunity.

About One Economy and the Digital Connectors

One Economy is a global nonprofit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 17 million people have used One Economy's online tools and resources, including the Public Internet Channel (www.pic.tv), to build better lives. One Economy has launched on-the-ground programs in 42 U.S. states, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Digital Connectors program is One Economy's flagship initiative that delivers 21st century technology training to young people from low-income backgrounds, who then share what they learn within their own communities. To date, more than 3,000 Digital Connectors have delivered more than 56,000 hours of technology focused community service.  Learn more at www.one-economy.com.

SOURCE Comcast Corporation