Posts Tagged “school year”

Comcast’s Internet Essentials Is the Biggest Back-To-School Tool For Low-Income Families

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Family Scholastic Adventures is thrilled to partner with Comcast regarding Internet Essentials for this back-to-school season. While this is a sponsored post, the thoughts, opinions and content expressed herein is strictly our own, as always.

 

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

With summer vacations wrapping up and Back-To-School sales popping up, it is easy to get lost in the flood of 1st Day of School pics and 49₵ packs of crayon deals. Returning our kids to class comes as a barrage of emergency forms, health physicals, club selections, classroom supply lists and fundraisers. And while we are printing schedules, emailing teachers, downloading registration forms, selecting classes, setting reminders, browsing coupons and pinning lunchbox ideas, it is clear to see how essential the internet is for the rituals of returning our kiddos to school.

Toward the end of last school year, our household PC died… which meant I no longer had printing capability. Mind you, I still had my smart phone, a tablet AND my laptop… but in all my genius, I couldn’t figure out how to print from any of those to my household printer, which left me running back and forth between the library and community center just to print things like my resume or the summer camp registration form. And while I had full access to my email, research, job banks, social connections… those few months left me highly frustrated, feeling like I was at such a disadvantage. I can only ½ imagine how difficult it must be then, to not have home internet at all. Fortunately, for six million Americans, they no longer have that frustration thanks to Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which offers highly subsidized internet connectivity and laptop/PC’s to low-income families across Comcast’s footprint. That’s millions of families who now have access to all things internet… healthcare options, job boards, email, government websites, and news. Students gaining access to school sites, research, tutoring and academic enrichment. YOUTUBE!!! Seven years ago, Comcast established the Internet Essentials program, which was designed to close the digital gap for low income families. This program has enhanced the lives of school-age children, families, those receiving HUD housing assistance and, as of recently, veterans, marking Comcast’s 2nd largest eligibility expansion.

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

As we head into the new school season, think of the academic paths for those children who qualify for this program. David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast calls us all to action by saying, “Awareness of this program is the secret sauce.” By visiting http://internetessentials.com to learn more about the program and by sharing this article and link… we can help make a true difference in the lives of neighbors, students, single-parents, , veterans and more.

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

It was a great honor to meet and sit with Mr. Cohen as well as U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando to learn more of their partnership and aligned goals in working with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. Having Monique and Jocelyne join David Cohen on a multi-city tour spreading awareness about Internet Essentials continues to drive home the twin’s collective message of “fighting for equality, in sports and life”, as stated by David Cohen during our media event.

There are millions of individuals, families and vets still without the same convenience of connectivity, the access to information we so readily have. Please share this information including the link to apply for this service at http://internetessentials.com/apply.
$9.95/ month plus tax for home internet service
No installation fee
No term contract
No credit check
Highly subsidized laptops/PC’s for purchase at affordable rates
Free learning resources (topics include online safety, employment resources, education)

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

With such an amazing platform and mission, it is of no surprise that over 3,000 Comcast employees and counting have joined together to serve as volunteer Internet Essentials Ambassadors. During a recent Ambassador’s Appreciation employee event, four ambitious and dedicated ambassadors were honored for their excellence in spreading awareness and helping their local communities take advantage of the program. In honor of their recognition, they each received 10 laptops (along with 6 months of free Internet Essentials access) to distribute within their own local communities. While the ambassador program as it stands today is made up of Comcast employees, we can each be local contributors by raising awareness, sharing the link, and requesting the free printed materials to distribute within our own communities at no cost and with no shipping fees. It’s almost an unofficial extension of the ambassador program, whereby we can make a big difference in our small communities.

Image courtesy of Comcast Xfinity

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Five Tips For a Successful School Year

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With Back-To-School well behind us and report cards on their way, it’s the perfect time to assess whether your child has all that he or she needs for a successful school year. We run around crazy trying to get 32 glue sticks and color coordinated supplies by September but now that November is almost at a close, what might have been overlooked?

Here are FIVE areas to assess to ensure the most successful school year.

  1. Study Space – Do you have a study space? It is clear of clutter, mail, to-do’s and distraction? Growing up I did my homework on my bed most of the time but honestly I was most focused and attentive when I sat at the dining room table where I could sit up straight and easily get to the supplies I needed. Keep study spaces away from toys and tv’s if possible as it is best to minimize the distractions.  Having a consistent space for homework and study is important – it builds good habit to know exactly where to go for quiet and space.
  2. Supplies – Are pencils sharpened? Are supplies easy to get to for projects and everyday assignments? My daughter (kindergarten) has a worksheet three to four times a week that requires glue and scissors. At first my husband and I said we’ll continue to put the scissors in their regular secured location but after learning that she’ll need them almost everyday, we decided to just keep them in her reach with her other supplies. Same thing applies to her glue stick and she has learned to be responsible for these items and keeps them in her crayon box for daily use. Are there supplies that were overlooked at the start of school? Or perhaps a failed attempt at loose-leaf paper should be replaced with notebooks? This is the time to reassess what’s needed and what’s not. Those not so common items (a ruler in our case) are left to a separate container so not to be in the way or offer distraction.
  3. Homework Check – In the beginning we’re all really good about checking that homework is complete… but come November, are you still just as diligent? Are you initialing the school planners, emailing the teacher with questions and generally checking in for progress and monitoring interest? Are you keeping track of the things that come easy versus the items that have been difficult? This can include actual assignments OR study habits. Does your child need 15 mins to burn off some energy or let off steam before digging into assignments, or is your child better off immediately getting to homework since 15 mins easily becomes 45? Take a look at the homework environment.  Is homework in the kitchen distracting with running water or a running dishwasher? While it may be easier as parents to have our children do homework in our presence (kitchen table) it may be necessary to carve time out to meet them in the best environment for concentration and questions. And about the assignments, which subjects does your child prefer and how can you get involved at home? This is the time to make changes to study patterns, extra help or adding a layer of family influence.
  4. Family Calendar – From young infants our children rely on routine. Keep in mind that most children want to know what is expected of them and what they can expect in return. Keep a family calendar handy and encourage family participation, meaning soccer games and play dates are entered as well as science projects, Mom/Dad date night and such. Knowing when family game night is allows children to get excited about it and knowing when a babysitter is expected offers them the opportunity to prepare by getting homework done sooner or anticipating what to do with the babysitter. Keeping everyone informed (or mostly informed) provides less stress for our children. This can be extremely key for a successful school year for some children while others are more comfortable with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants routine. This is just another tool, should you have children driven by routine or multiple kids to keep engaged.
  5. Organization – This means school forms, mail and bills. Keeping everything organized offers peace of mind for the entire family. Nothing like brushing your teeth in the morning while writing out a check for a school function due THAT day. Set up a folder system for upcoming events or notices – things that need NOT be forgotten. Make a folder for incoming school paperwork and projects. Make sure there is a system in places for returned items (forms, homework, doctor notes, permission slips and payments). Keep your bills and mail in order too… as they can add to the chaos.

A few tips here and there to ensure we’re all on track for providing the best environment, the best study habits and the best support for our children.

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