Today in Camden, New Jersey, at the official groundbreaking for the new Camden Community Charter School, our Executive Vice President, David Cohen, had the distinct pleasure to announce that the 300 future students there will receive free in-home Internet and free laptop computers, thanks to the generosity of the Gureghian Foundation and Comcast’s Internet Essentials.
Mayor Dana Redd, City Council President Frank Moran, Reverend Terence Griffith and other local public officials were at the groundbreaking.
Camden Charter, which will be managed by CSMI Education Management, will open its doors this September for kids in grades K - 5. Among many features, the new, modern school will have state-of-the-art technology, including mobile computer labs, Smart Boards, and an advanced, technology-integrated curriculum. In addition, the Gureghian Foundation’s gift of computers and Internet service will allow students to stay connected at home to their school, to their teachers and to the world. It’s an amazing example of how one simple act can help close the digital divide.
As the largest Internet service provider in the nation, the digital divide is something we see firsthand every day. The fact remains that about 30 percent of Americans—many of whom are living below the poverty line—don’t have Internet service at home. In Camden, there are neighborhoods where less than 20 percent of households have adopted broadband at home, while just a few miles away in Haddonfield, broadband Internet adoption rates are 90 percent or higher. It is for this reason that Comcast launched Internet Essentials so we could do our part to try and help close this digital divide.
Internet Essentials provides affordable broadband service for $9.95 a month; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150; and digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. We recently announced that more than 150,000 low-income families, or about 600,000 Americans, are now online because of Internet Essentials.
Vahan Gureghian, the founder and CEO of CSMI Education Management, and his wife Danielle have long recognized the importance of technology and digital literacy for education. The Gureghian’s donation is a remarkable investment in our youth and a great example of how public-private partnerships can help shape the future of a city. We owe them a great deal of gratitude and thank them for doing this.
To learn more about Internet Essentials visit www.internetessentials.com or www.internetbasico.com for Spanish. For educators, third-parties and others interested in helping to spread the word, visit www.internetessentials.com/partner where you can order free brochures and other handouts. If you know a parent who should apply for this program, please tell them to call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.