County Aims to Make Virtual Learning Accessible to All
By Kathy Knotts
Anne Arundel County has announced more funding is on the way to provide internet service to low-income families and students who need it in the distance-learning era.
County Executive Steuart Pittman says families participating in Comcast’s Internet Essentials Partnership Program will have their monthly service costs covered for up to 12 months by a new $150,000 grant from the CARES Act. Comcast is also giving new families who sign up an additional two months free, meaning they can have 14 months of internet covered.
“Internet access has become an essential thread connecting individuals to their communities,” said Pittman. “This partnership with Comcast brings us closer to our goal of universal access for students and families, regardless of economic status.”
The program will be administered by the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families through a contract with Comcast. County officials are encouraging families to take advantage of the grant to ensure their children in grades K-12 have the reliable broadband internet access they need to learn from home.
Anne Arundel County students have been learning virtually since March of last year, creating an extra burden on those who do not have access to internet services because of cost or location. The school system has been working to get all families connected and seems to have been successful. According to AACPS spokesperson Bob Mosier, at the end of the first marking period, there were just six students in the county who had not yet connected for any instruction.
Families interested in participating in the Comcast program can contact Twila Mohammad-Davis at 1-800-485-0041 or [email protected] for more information.