Startups and nonprofits set sights on closing the achievement gap through internet access
Cosette Jarrett is a freelance writer from Salt Lake City, Utah. Her work focuses on consumer technology and digital connectivity. You can follow her future projects on Twitter. Kids growing up in low-income neighborhoods have always faced extra challenges when it comes to keeping up with their middle- to high-income peers. And with the dawning of the digital age, low-income students now face a new, unprecedented challenge: access to high-speed internet. More than ever, students are required to go online to complete homework, collaborate on projects and conduct research. For students with no internet access at home, this can be a daunting challenge. Even though 85 percent of the nation has access to broadband internet, one White House release noted that less than half of the households in the lowest income bracket have an internet subscription at home. While many middle-class U.S. students go home to internet accesstoo many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends, according to the White House release. This homework gap runs the risk of widening the achievement gap, denying hardworking students the benefit of a technology-enriched education. In response, the White House launched ConnectHome in 2015. This initiative set out to bring high-speed internet to more than 275,000 low-income families in 28 communities across the nation. Likewise, companies like Microsoft, Google and Comcast have rolled out programs to help bridge the digital divide.
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