IDEA: What if Internet-Based Games Could Help Fund Schools?

Living in our constantly connected world, we can often take the web for granted. If you have a laptop or a smartphone, you’re used to getting all of your news and social interaction through the Internet. That’s why it’s so difficult to imagine that even in 2015, in a high tech city like Chicago, not everyone has access to the internet.

Comcast is trying to change that with its Internet Essentials program which launched in 2011. Over the past four years, the program has helped connect over 50,000 low-income families from across the country to the internet, and the benefits keep growing.

“Kids would not be as successful in school, finding a job would be more difficult, and obtaining valuable information would not be possible without the internet,” said Jack Segal, Vice President of PR for Comcast’s Chicago region.

This past year, Internet Essentials created a new initiative to help connect more Chicago families called “Get Schooled, Get Connected” by engaging Chicago Public School students in internet challenges to help stay motivated throughout the school year.

Segal said more than 4,000 students from 20 schools participated, and the schools with the highest scoring students were awarded money in support of school foundations.

On Friday, two of those winners, Fiske Elementary and Scammon Elementary, were honored for their students’ achievements within the program. Not only were high-scoring participants awarded laptops for their efforts, but the two schools received a special visit from Chicago native rapper and activist, Chance the Rapper.

Segal said Chance was an obvious choice in being involved with the initiative, not only because of his pop cultural relevance, but because of his community service work.

“One student and one program at a time, this program will help close the digital divide by engaging and educating students throughout Chicago,” said Chance.

He answered students’ questions about education and the future while visiting the schools, and gave some helpful advice to the next generation of leaders.

“Getting any good job done comes from an effort of people,” he told students.

With the Get Schooled, Get Connected program, we can open up the conversation of technological advances in low-income areas.

[Via: The Idea Forge]

About Allison Matyus