HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the new school year under way, Comcast is re-launching Internet Essentials, the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson, Dauphin County Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III, Harrisburg School District Superintendent Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney, and Comcast Regional Vice President of Government Affairs Frank Lynch, along with civic and community leaders, today kicked off the program's third year and announced that, in just over two years, more than 250,000 families, benefitting an estimated one million low-income Americans nationwide, now have a broadband connection at home. This includes 1,600 families in the Harrisburg area and more than 11,000 in Pennsylvania.
"Having access to 21st Century resources is necessary in education today," said Superintendent Knight-Burney. "The Internet provides students with the tools necessary to be active and engaged learners. By having access to the many educational tools found on the Internet, our students can become not only consumers of knowledge but also creators of content, extending their learning to deeper levels of understanding. We need to break down the barriers that keep these valuable resources from our students. We are excited to see this opportunity provided to our students and families."
Today's event at Harrisburg High School is one in a series of back-to-school events Comcast is hosting in 23 states across the country to raise visibility about bridging the digital divide in America and connecting more families to the Internet.
At the event, Comcast's Harrisburg area partners pledged to renew focus on helping to spread the word about Internet Essentials and increase participation by making brochures and posters available at City and County offices as well as on Capital Area Transit buses in Central Pennsylvania and at facilities operated by the Dauphin County Housing Authority; sending letters to constituents; and training staff and volunteers to be able to speak to the importance of Internet access at home.In addition, Comcast's local Government Affairs team has offered to mentor two Harrisburg High School students completing senior projects with the goal of increasing awareness of the necessity of Internet access in the home to enhance learning and success.