It is a time when many families are finding it hard to pay for groceries and utilities, and at such a time, Cox Communications is offering families in the Parma City School District internet access at discounted rates. The program, called Connect2Compete, offers affordable high-speed internet service to those families with K-12 children who have qualified for free or reduced school lunch via the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Jeffrey Lavery, who is the manager public affairs for Cox Communications, Northeast, wants people to understand that Cox knows that the challenges that are faced by families these days. “Despite the proliferation of technology flowing into classrooms, the challenge remains overcoming the ‘digital divide’ – or whether students can take what they learn from these advanced classroom offerings and continue the learning experience at home with a reliable Internet connection,” Lavery said.
“Without Internet access, they’re at risk of falling behind and becoming disenfranchised. Cox Communications is teaming with districts across Cuyahoga County to identify qualified families and do whatever it takes to get them connected to the Internet,” he added.
Kira Karabanovs, who is the director of family and community engagement for the Parma City School District, said that PCSD started The Everywhere Classroom in 2014-15 academic year. “The program, in which 1:1 technology was first distributed to every student, is transforming learning in our schools,” Karabanovs said. “The Everywhere Classroom 1:1 technology initiative supports an individualized education experience to: Advance student learning, prepare our students for the state’s mandated online testing requirements, and ensure our students are college and career ready upon graduation.”
“The Connect2Compete program is pretty simple,” Karabanovs said. “It’s about equity. Not all of our students have access to Wi-Fi coverage in their homes, but the cost of the program allows students who might not otherwise be able to afford Wi-Fi at the normal monthly rate can secure it through the program at a reduced rate make it feasible for families.”
“This program provides opportunity,” Karabanovs further added. “Skills learned in our classrooms now can grow thought home-based learning. It allows parents to engage and support their child’s learning by being able to access online programs. In addition, parents can be more engaged with our districts through social media. Connect2Compete is a win-win and allows online access to homes where it might not be possible.”