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School’s Out, But Learning Goes On(line) With The Internet

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - For many schoolchildren, summertime means days of fun in the  sun, family road trips and visits from the ice cream truck. But many parents  don’t realize that summer can also mean learning loss. Studies have  found that nearly all children lose knowledge over the summer.

In fact, when  children head back to school in the fall, they are one month behind  academically. This loss adds up year after year, especially for students from  low-income families who may not have access to summertime enrichment opportunities,  like camp, tutoring, and regular trips to the library. This can significantly  impact a child’s success in school and in life over the long term.

Overcoming Learning Loss

One way families can overcome summer learning loss is to make sure they  have in-home Internet access for their children. The Internet provides access  to an infinite number of online resources for all ages and across all  subjects.

While it can be easy to slip out of the routine of learning when school is  out, it’s possible to keep kids engaged over the summer with online  educational games, research on topics of interest, downloadable programs to  brush up on math and grammar, or simply by reading a book online.

Unfortunately, about 30 percent of Americans, many of whom live below the  poverty line, do not have Internet access in their homes. This is  particularly concerning because children from low-income families have been  found to have a steeper rate of learning loss over the summer, specifically  in the area of reading. To help connect these families to the Internet,  Comcast is offering a program it calls Internet Essentials.

Closing The Digital Divide

Described as the nation’s largest, most comprehensive broadband  adoption initiative, it’s designed to help close the digital divide between  those who have Internet in their home and those who don’t.

The program provides families who have at least one child eligible to  participate in the National School Lunch Program with Internet for $9.95 a  month; the option to buy a computer for less than $150; and access to digital  literacy training.

With a service such as this, students and families can connect to free,  online educational tools over the summer, including some of these top  suggestions from Parent ing.com:

• PBS Kids (pbskids.org)—Find  learning games associated with your favorite PBS Kids characters, including  Clifford, Curious George, The Cat in the Hat and more.

• National Geographic Kids (kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids)—Keep  kids engaged with interactive and educational games, photos, video and  information.

• FunBrain (www.funbrain.com)—Math baseball and  Mad Libs Junior for kids of all age levels.

• Spatulatta (www.spatulatta.com)—Find  kid-friendly cooking tips and recipes with lots of helpful videos.

• NGA Kids (www.nga.gov/kids/kids.htm)--Explore   art adventures with help from the National Gallery of Art.

Programs such as Internet Essentials have the capacity to change the lives  of students for the better by providing opportunities for learning when school  is not in session.

To learn more, visit www.InternetEssentials.com,  or Internet Basico.com for Spanish. Educators or third parties can visit InternetEssentials.com/Partner.  Parents looking to enroll students can call 1-855-846-8376, or for Spanish,  1-855-765-6995.