Keeping Kids Connected During Long Winter Days

From snow days to holiday breaks, kids will be off from school often over the next few months. And with the inclement weather, this means they are inside, itching for something to do. Instead of watching TV or fighting with siblings, using the Internet is a more interactive, productive choice for kids of all ages.

Unfortunately about 30 percent of Americans, many of whom live below the poverty line, don’t have Internet access in their homes. To help connect these families to the Internet, Comcast is offering a low-cost broadband adoption program called Internet Essentials.

Internet Essentials offers families with at least one child eligible for the National School Lunch Program Internet for $9.95 a month; the option to buy a laptop or desktop computer for less than $150; and access to digital literacy training online, in person or in print.

With a service such as this, kids can connect to fun online educational activities for free while they are off from school, and they can keep up with their assignments and stay connected to teachers and classmates. This way, they are not only keeping busy, but they are learning.  Here are a few cool sites:

–          Khan Academy (khanacademy.org): Get a personalized experience in math, biology, economics, computer science, art history and more.

–          PBS Kids (pbskids.org): Find learning games associated with your favorite PBS Kids characters like Clifford, Curious George and The Cat in the Hat.

–          FunBrain (funbrain.com): Access a ton of activities; read books and comics; and play mad libs, math baseball and tic tac toe.

Plus, the whole family can use Internet at home this winter to stay in touch with loved ones, search for new healthy recipes to start the year off right, fill out tax returns and apply for financial aid.

So far, more than 350,000 families, or about 1.4 million low-income Americans, have been connected to the power of the Internet through Internet Essentials. There is also a new amnesty program for families who would qualify for the program, but have a past due balance. If they meet all other eligibility criteria, Comcast will offer amnesty for a bill that is more than one year old in order for that family to be eligible.

To learn more or apply, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376, or for Spanish, visit www.InternetBasico.com or call 1-855-765-6995. Educators and third parties can visit www.InternetEssentials.com/Partner.

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