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Internet Essentials Learning Zones in Fresno

By Community Alliance Staff

Comcast is providing a $100,000 grant to nonprofit community organizations to create Internet Essentials Learning Zones in Fresno. Internet Essentials is a comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides low-cost broadband 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.

The nonprofit community organizations in Fresno are the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County, the Center for Multicultural Cooperation, the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation and Reading & Beyond.

Interested families should call 1-855-846-8376 or visit www.InternetEssentials.com. For Spanish, they may call 1-855-765-6995 or visit www.InternetBasico.com.

The grant will enable Fresno to create a continuum of connectivity—or Internet Essentials Learning Zones—that begin in the classroom with wired schools, follow the students to wired libraries, wired computer centers and wired afterschool programs, and end in wired homes when the day is done. Community partners in these areas play a critical role in enhancing broadband technology access, as well as offering family-focused digital literacy training.

Announced in May 2011, Internet Essentials is designed to meet the needs of a specific population—low-income families with school-age children who currently are not connected to broadband Internet at home.

  • Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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