The COVID-19 pandemic has put the education of many low-income students in Detroit at risk of being left behind because they often have no access to the internet.
To help close that gap Comcast will launch its first 12 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in Detroit by year end. Lift Zones are designed to help those students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to distance learning at home.
The WiFi hotspots will be located in safe spaces designed to help students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework. Many of these sites also serve adults and can connect them to online adult education, job searches, healthcare information and public assistance.
This initiative provides free hotspot connectivity inside the community centers and access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning.
The first 12 Lift Zones include:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan: Lloyd H. Diehl Club: 4242 Collingwood Street
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan: Dick & Sandy Dauch Campus: 16500 Tireman Street
- Detroit Blight Busters: 17340 Lahser Road
- Detroit Boxing Gym: 6445 East Vernor Highway
- Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation: 1211 Trumbull Street
- Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries – Men’s Shelter: 3606 Third Street
- Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries – Women’s Shelter: 12900 West Chicago Street
- Franklin Wright Settlements: 7375 Woodward Avenue
- Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development, Inc.: 7150 Vernor Highway
- City Covenant Church (Mission: City): 20405 Schoolcraft
- Matrix Human Services: Social Mobility Center: 13560 East McNichols Road
- Say Detroit Play Center:19320 Van Dyke Avenue
“Our vision is to ensure that every Detroiter is fully digitally included, improving the quality of life for all residents,” says Joshua Edmonds, director of digital inclusion, City of Detroit and the Connect 313 digital inclusion strategy. “Connect 313 and Comcast share a passion for bridging the digital divide, and our partnership will ensure these Lift Zone locations will reach as many Detroiters who need them as possible.”
Last month, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide. This effort is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet and provide resources to help them fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy.
“Solving a problem as vast and complex as the digital divide requires collaboration with schools, elected officials, nonprofit community partners and other private-sector companies,” says Tim Collins, senior vice president of Comcast’s Heartland Region.