While summer can be a great time for family fun, it can also pose a challenge to many students. That’s because students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning. This is commonly known as the “summer slide.”
Without the continuation of education online virtually year-round, children can lose knowledge and skills. This is particularly true for those in low-income families who may not have access to enrichment opportunities such as camp, tutoring and regular trips to the library.
The good news is, there’s a wealth of educational resources available online for free, so families can turn the “summer slide” into a chance for academic growth. Unfortunately, about 30 percent of Americans, many of whom live below the poverty line, don’t have Internet access at home.
To help connect these families to the Internet, Comcast designed the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. Called Internet Essentials, it provides families that have a child who is eligible for the National School Lunch Program with Internet service for $9.95 a month, the option to buy a laptop or a desktop computer for less than $150, and access to digital literacy training online, in person and in print.
With it, kids can use the Internet at home to take advantage of online activities such as Khan Academy and Discovery Education. Khan Academy is a non-profit with a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Through www. khanacademy.org, children can explore a library of thousands of videos, tutorials and interactive challenges covering a wide range of topics for all interests and ages, including basic math, programming, art history and college-level biology. In the last two years, Khan Academy has delivered more than 440 million lessons and 2 billion exercise problems.
Discovery Education, at www.discoveryeducation.com, also has free digital resources and educational media covering math, science, social studies and more, all of which support Common Core State Standards. With just the click of a mouse, kids can access virtual science labs, summer STEM activities, engaging videos and summer challenges.
In addition to educational tools, children can use the Internet at home to access summer reading books online, download assignments, play online educational games and take virtual vacations. This way, when it comes time to return to the classroom in the fall, they will be ahead of the game, instead of behind.
To learn more, visit www. InternetEssentials.com or, for Spanish, www.InternetBasico. com.
Educators and third parties can visit www.InternetEssentials. com/Partner. Parents looking to enroll children can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.