PLYMOUTH, Mich., Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the new school year in full swing, Comcast is re-launching Internet Essentials, the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Jackson Mayor Marty Griffin, NFL great Tony Dungy and Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen, along with civic and community leaders, today kicked off the program's third year and announced that, in about two years, more than 250,000 families, benefitting an estimated 1 million low-income Americans nationwide, now have a broadband connection at home. This includes nearly 8,500 families in metro- Detroit, and nearly 13,000 in Michigan.
Today, Dungy returned home to his high school alma mater – now known as Middle School at Parkside – for a special discussion and assembly with over 700 seventh and eighth grade students. In addition to an inspiring leadership message, he spoke to the students on the importance of connectivity and made a special announcement about what he and Comcast are doing to close the digital divide. Comcast introduced and shared the success stories of several local families that have benefited from the Internet Essentials program, as well as gave away notebook computers to several deserving students at Parkside.
Dungy used the occasion to announce that the Dungy Family Foundation will donate enough six-month opportunity cards to all eligible Parkside families (currently enrolled or families that enroll in Internet Essentials by March 31, 2014) to ensure more Jackson families can get connected. In addition, the Comcast Foundation announced a $25,000 grant award to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in Jackson to upgrade the Center's existing Tony Dungy Lounge and rename it the Tony Dungy Media Center.
"Internet Essentials can have a game-changing impact on education and the lives of young people," said Dungy. "It really levels the playing field for those that might not have the opportunities they deserve just because they never had access to the tools and resources that drive success in today's technologically advanced world."