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Comcast, Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson And Harrisburg School District Superintendent Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney Kick Off Year Two Of The Groundbreaking Internet Essentials Program Designed To Help Close The Digital Divide
Aug 28, 2012 (04:08 PM EDT)
Nationally, More Than 100,000 Families or 400,000 Low-Income Americans Have Signed Up
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson, Harrisburg School District Superintendent Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney and Comcast Vice President of External Affairs Bret Perkins today announced year two of Internet Essentials, an ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption program designed to help close the digital divide for low-income Americans. Nearly 500 Harrisburg area residents are now online with Internet Essentials.
An event at the Boys & Girls Club of Central Pennsylvania highlighted Comcast's enhancements to the program designed to accelerate enrollment and build on the more than 100,000 families, or 400,000 Americans, who are now online nationally after the first full year of Internet Essentials availability. Similar events are being held throughout the nation, including one scheduled for Philadelphia in September.
"There is no greater divide in education today than the divide between the child who has a computer and high speed access to the educational wonders of the Internet, and the child who does not," said Mayor Thompson. "One child is mainstreamed, regardless of the income or status of his or her family, while the other child has already fallen behind the learning curve.
"The new and expanded Comcast Internet Essentials program will help level the most important playing field in education today by providing those families and children with the essentials they need to assure the student is engaged early with all the educational benefits and advantages the Internet provides."
Added Dr. Knight-Burney: "Comcast is an important partner in promoting the district CHARGE (Connections, Healthy habits, Accountability, Responsibility, Growth and Effective instruction). The Internet Essentials Program provides a key communication tool and strong support for our schools, families, community and student achievement."
Said Perkins, "I'd like to thank Mayor Thompson, Superintendent Knight-Burney and the Boys & Girls Club of Central Pennsylvania for their continued support of the Internet Essentials program. Cities like Harrisburg can make a tangible difference in the lives of students and families who are now able to go online at home and access the endless resources the Internet has to offer."
New in 2012:
Internet Essentials Program Details:
A household is eligible to participate if it meets all of the following criteria:
Comcast will enroll eligible families in the program for at least three years, through the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Any household that qualifies during this three-year period will remain eligible for Internet Essentials if at least one child eligible for a free or reduced lunch remains living in the household.
In Harrisburg, Comcast is working with the Boys & Girls Club of Central Pennsylvania and other community-based organizations to spread the word about Internet Essentials and provide digital literacy training. Comcast today also presented to Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Yvonne Hollins a $15,000 Tech Club Grant for its continued work in providing Internet access to students through after-school programs.
For general information about Internet Essentials, please visit www.internetessentials.com for English and visit www.internetbasico.com for Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at www.internetessentials.com/partner. Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.
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