Comcast expands digital inclusion program to low-income community college students
THIS WEEK IN SUMMIT SCHOOLS
Monday, Sept. 21
Summit Cove Elementary, Back to School Night, Kindergarten and 1st grade, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 22
Central Admin. Office, Board of Education Meeting, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 23
Frisco Elementary, BAAC, 4:15 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 24
Summit Cove Elementary, Back to School Night, 2nd and 3rd grade, 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 25
Summit High School, Football vs. Palisade, 7 p.m.
In 2011, Comcast rolled out a program that addresses the digital divide by offering low-cost Internet service, laptops and Internet literacy resources to low-income families.
Since its launch, about 24,000 Colorado families, or almost 100,000 individuals, have been connected to the Internet at home.
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Comcast announced its plan to expand the program to Colorado’s community college students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, or more than 40,000 students. Colorado and Illinois are the two states receiving the expansion.
According to the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), the average income at the career midpoint of someone with an associate’s degree in Colorado is $49,900, which is 35 percent more than a student with a high school diploma. The positive impact of a degree on employment and earnings is higher for women than men.
“Higher education is key to a better life — not just higher salaries and better job prospects, but more engaged citizens who will improve our communities,” said Joe Garcia, Colorado’s Lt. Governor and executive director of the state’s Department of Higher Education, in a statement. “I applaud Comcast for partnering with Colorado to offer one of the first low-cost Internet access programs for community college students. Because the modern workforce is driven by technology, Internet access is no longer a luxury but an essential. This initiative is one more way we can provide Coloradoans the support.”
For more information or to apply for the program, visit http://www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376, or for Spanish, call 1-855-765-6995.
Colorado child poverty rate declines again
The child poverty rate in Colorado declined to 15.4 percent in 2014 — the first time the state has seen a back-to-back decline since the annual measure began in 2000.
The rate declined from 16.9 percent in 2013, making Colorado one of 10 states with statistically significant declines in child poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Colorado saw the sixth-largest percentage decline in the U.S., with approximately 17,000 fewer children living in poverty in 2014.
Even with the decline in 2014, however, 190,000 Colorado children remained in poverty, up from 104,000 in 2000. Poverty is defined as annual income below $23,850 for a family of four.
The number of children in extreme poverty — less than $12,000 in annual income for a family of four — increased slightly between 2013 and 2014.
“It is critical that we commit to ensuring economic security for every Colorado child, no matter their background or location,” said Chris Watney, President and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “Our child poverty rate is still much higher than 15 years ago. And despite recent gains, we still see areas of the state that have yet to feel the effects of the economic recovery.”
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