Comcast today unveiled a new partnership with Walgreens that will extend the reach of its Internet Essentials program to nearly 300 Walgreens Pharmacy stores in South Florida. The announcement took place at a special event at the Overtown Youth Center (OYC) where Comcast was joined by OYC founder and former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning to unveil details about the creation of the first digital learning zones in Florida, which will further the company's goal of helping to bridge the digital divide by ensuring low-income students and their families have access to the Internet.
In joining together, Comcast and Walgreens are combining resources and outreach efforts to address two critical needs in the community: preventative health, which Walgreens champions, and bridging the digital divide, the ultimate goal of Internet Essentials. These are two major issues that significantly impact the well-being of the South Florida community."The concept of a healthy community means educating families about wellness, but it is much broader than that. It's also about ensuring families have the technology they need to stay healthy and that is having broadband Internet service at home. With it, parents can research online where to get a flu shot or what doctor to visit, students can use it to do their homework, and families can communicate easier with loved ones across the country or around the world," Cohen said. Comcast Partnership with Walgreens Among the elements of the new partnership between Comcast and Walgreens, Internet Essentials program materials will now be available to customers in nearly 300 Walgreens Pharmacy stores located throughout South Florida from Vero Beach to Key West. In addition, Walgreens is providing one year of free Internet Essentials service to 25 families served by the OYC. "Our goal is to help people get, stay and live well. More and more information and resources concerning health and wellness are going digital, so this new partnership with Comcast ties back to our mission," Ripak said. "Now thousands of South Florida families who are already visiting Walgreens locations will have the opportunity to learn about the Internet Essentials program and how it can potentially help them access the power of the Internet in their own homes." Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. Since 2011, Internet Essentials has connected more than 350,000 families, or about 1.4 million low-income Americans, to the power of the Internet. This includes connecting nearly 50,000 Florida families or about 200,000 low-income Floridians. Internet Essentials Digital Learning Zones Funded through an Internet Essentials Gold Medal grant, the "Internet Essentials Digital Learning Zone" at the OYC will include upgrades to the center's current computer lab with 50 new laptops, software and related equipment, along with much-needed digital literacy training for students and basic computer skills training for adults. Other new Digital Learning Zone sites being established by Comcast in South Florida will include ASPIRA of Florida, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and The Chapman Partnership. "We are honored to house the first Comcast Internet Essentials Digital Learning Zone in Florida right here at the Overtown Youth Center and are appreciative of Comcast's long history of supporting the Miami-Dade community," Mourning said. "This new digital learning zone will allow us to address two critical needs for the students and families we serve - Internet access and the ability to provide digital literacy training and instruction."