Comcast Launches First Indiana “Internet Essentials Learning Zone” in South Bend

South Bend Community School Corporation, local elected officials and several local community-based organizations join Comcast to address digital divide… 

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Left to right: Rudy Monterrosa, La Casa de Armistad; Indiana State Representative David Niezgodski; Sam Centellas, La Casa de Armistad; and Comcast’s Matthew Summy.

Designed to help close the digital divide, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program provides Internet service at home to eligible low-income families for around $10 a month, the ability to purchase an Internet-ready computer for about $150 and access to free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. The program was first announced in 2011 and since then has provided more than 500,000 families access to the Internet at home nationally.

Today, Comcast joined South Bend Community School Corporation, local elected officials and several community- and faith-based organizations to announce an additional step it’s taking to close the digital divide – the creation of an “Internet Essentials Learning Zone” in South Bend. The zone, located within the west side of South Bend, will further expand Internet access, enhance digital literacy and help families via:

  • Free Internet service and access to computers at a host of South Bend zone partners, including:
    • La Casa de Amistad; Latino Task Force for Education; New Generations Christian Ministries; and the Keith Giden Community Center;
  • $20,000 donation from Comcast to enhance the computer lab at lead zone partner, La Casa de Amistad;
  • Digital literacy training programs in conjunction with zone partner organizations designed to educate parents and children about how to use the Internet effectively and safely, and parents about how to monitor their children’s online activity and school work; and
  • Distribution of Internet Essentials information to families through additional South Bend zone participants including:
    • South Bend Community School Corporation; Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County; El Campito; The Beacon; Work One; South Bend NAACP and South Bend LULAC.

“It is wonderful to see this collaboration in the community to join Comcast to help take on the digital divide,” said State Representative David Niezgodski. “The Internet Essentials Learning Zone will help provide families access to technology and education, which is essential to our community’s success in today’s digital world.”

“The Internet is essential to academic success,” said Dr. Carole Schmidt, Superintendent of South Bend Community School Corporation. “The Internet Essentials Learning Zone will extend the learning day beyond school walls for kids who don’t have Internet access at home.”

“Thanks to Internet Essentials and our community partners in South Bend, many area families now have the opportunity to use the power of the Internet at home and at many of the community organizations they already visit after-school or for other programs,” said Matthew Summy, Comcast’s regional vice president of External & Government Affairs. “Together, we are making progress in closing the digital divide in South Bend.”

About Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program. It provides low-cost high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. Eligible families must have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, parochial, private, charter, and homeschooled students. 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.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit http://www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

With nearly 7,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region (www.comcastgcr.com) serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting Comcast of Illinois, NW Indiana and SW Michigan. “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastIllinois.