LaToya Giles' family is one of 12,000 in South Florida that are benefiting from Comcast's "Internet Essentials" program, which is in its second year. Comcast Foundation President Charisse Lillie said the program aims to close the digital divide. Meantime, student Antice Freeman checked out newly opened Comcast computer lab at the Urban League of Broward County, and Miami Heat player James Jones explained why he donated to the Urban League. Comcast is the parent company of NBC 6 South Florida.
More low-income families in South Florida are getting connected to the Internet – thanks to a program called "Internet Essentials" from Comcast, now in its second year.
"For your child to come home and need to do homework and you don't have a computer or Internet to do it, it's very hard," said parent LaToya Giles. "You either have to find somewhere where you can go, or he doesn't do his homework. And that's the most hurtful feeling as a parent."
The Giles are one of 12,000 South Florida families benefiting from discounted Internet service at $9.95 a month. To qualify, a family must have at least one child eligible to receive free or reduced school lunch under the National School Lunch Program.
"This is really about closing that digital divide. It's about making sure that our young people have access to computers at their homes, so that they can do their homework," said Comcast Foundation President Charisse Lillie.
Comcast is the parent company of NBC 6 South Florida.
Now students can also do their homework at the newly opened Comcast computer lab at the Urban League of Broward County.
"The reason why I'm getting B's and C's is because I don't have Internet at home, so that makes it difficult when I have to do my projects," said student Antice Freeman, who checked out the new facility.
The Broward schools superintendent says more class assignments are going online.
"We have end of course exams now which are actually taken online. Our students need to have a comfort level with technology," Superintendent Robert Runcie said.
Miami native and Heat player James Jones donated to the Urban League, knowing the importance of access.
"It's bigger than just the Internet, it's bigger than just a service. It really just brings families together," Jones said. "At the end of the day, if they're at work, if the kids are at school, and the Miami Heat are playing, you can go on the Internet and check it out."
For more information on the program or to enroll, go to www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376.