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Kids Action "Broadband at School and at Home" Campaign Expands with ConnectHome Partnership
The Kids Action campaign to expand access to affordable high-speed Internet in schools and homes took a big step forward this month when U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro and Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer announced in a visit to our San Francisco headquarters that Common Sense has become the newest partner in HUD's exciting ConnectHome initiative.
ConnectHome, announced in June of this year, is a public-private initiative to establish affordable broadband connections in low-income, HUD-assisted public housing. The initiative, fueled by the work of the national nonprofit EveryoneOn, is getting underway in 28 communities nationwide, and Common Sense was asked to provide its high-caliber digital citizenship training and curriculum in those communities, teaching families with young children in HUD-assisted housing the skills they need to be safe, smart, and ethical in their new online lives. This is the same curriculum and training Common Sense is well known for in thousands of schools across the country. Starting in 2016, we will provide on-the-ground training in Los Angeles; Newark, NJ; Baltimore; and Washington, D.C., and will provide online webinar training in all 28 ConnectHome communities.
Common Sense Kids Action and Common Sense Education teamed up for this effort, expanding our already successful digital citizenship work deeper into low-income and minority communities that often have far fewer digital resources than wealthier communities.
This is the latest step in our larger campaign to reduce digital inequality for kids and their families. In 2015 alone, Kids Action has:
- Partnered with the State Educational Technology Director's Association (SETDA) to produce a toolkit to help states and school districts access new federal funds for broadband and Wi-Fi expansion in classrooms and libraries;
- Played a leading role in pushing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income households access affordable broadband through modernizing the Lifeline program;
- And produced a policy brief on how broadband access improves educational, vocational, and health outcomes.