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Expanding Internet Access to Combat Summer Learning Loss

As the school year comes to a close, kids across Southern Arizona are looking forward to summer vacation while many parents scramble to make plans to keep their children busy and engaged in learning activities over the long break.

For many families, camps, trips and even tutors will fill the summer void. But for families who can’t afford these advantages, the risk their children will lose a portion of what they learned during the school year is very real.

Summer learning loss hits children from low-income families the hardest. On average, students’ achievement scores decline to reflect about a month’s worth of school-year learning loss. Declines in achievement are greatest in math, and learning loss seems to increase among students in higher grades.

This phenomenon, also called summer slide or summer setback, contributes to the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. The achievement gap leads to an opportunity gap, which can put some children at a lifelong disadvantage.

Comcast is committed to being part of the solution to ensure all children have at-home access to digital technology and enriching online experiences over the summer – and throughout the year.

Access to the internet is an essential learning tool in our technology-driven era. That’s why Comcast’s Internet Essentials offers high-speed home Internet for just $9.95 + tax per month, low-cost computer equipment, and a variety of free online and in-person digital learning opportunities for eligible students and their families.

High-speed internet access at home is an important part of the solution. But, some Southern Arizona communities lag behind in terms of having access to high-speed broadband at home.

Nationwide, about 65 percent of U.S. adults have broadband internet service at home. In Arizona, it’s about 70 percent.

Comcast’s work to give every student the opportunity to succeed in Southern Arizona is rooted in the understanding that unequal access to information technology creates disparities in educational, social and economic achievement.

That’s why Internet Essentials is available to residents in a Comcast service area who have a child eligible for free or reduced school lunch. And, for those who attend a school where 40 percent or more of the population receives free or reduced lunch, the entire school is eligible for the program. Click here to learn more.

We’ve helped more than 5,000 low-income individuals in Southern Arizonan get connected to the internet, since the program launched in 2011.

Here are some additional ideas to combat summer learning loss and promote learning year-round:

  • Local library districts in Southern Arizona offer engaging summer reading programs for kids of all ages. Contact your neighborhood branch for a schedule of activities.
  • The Comcast Internet Essentials Learning Center has a variety of educational tools, including links to free, high-quality e-learning courses for children and adults.  
  • Many websites that offer quality, free educational content for kids. Some good options include PBS Kids, FunBrain,  National Geographic Kids, Starfall, NASA Kids’ Club, HowStuffWorks.com, and others.  
  • Kahn Academy is a free resource that offers practice exercises and instructional videos in a variety of subject areas, at every academic level.   reas, at every academic level.

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