Philadelphia Bridging the Digital Divide to Promote Learning

As children across the United States prepare to return to the classroom, bridging the digital literacy divide remains a top priority for the Philadelphia School District. Since the suspension of in-person classes back in March, city officials and educators have been working with partners to ensure that when classes resume in September every child has access to high speed internet.

The school district’s response: PHLConnectED.  

PHLConnectedED will allow eligible student households to receive two years of high speed internet through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program or a mobile hotspot. Further, the program will provide laptops or tablets to students and tech support to assist parents.  

To date, the school district has distributed over 128,000 devices to students who have none in their homes.  

Looking forward to a successful year, the Philadelphia School District is committed to helping children and parents succeed. 

PHLConnectED is the first stage of the city’s larger “digital equity” initiative to support digital literacy and access for all Philadelphia residents.  Partnering foundations include: Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation, William Penn Foundation, and the Philadelphia School Partnership.  

Additional funding is being provided through the federal CARES Act, allowing the school district to not have dip into its general fund.

Remarking on the significance of PHLConnectED, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said this is a “transformational moment” that will help close the digital divide.

Source: Good News Network