Comcast today announced the creation of four “Lift Zones” in Jacksonville. Comcast is launching these WiFi connected Lift Zones to provide students with safe spaces to connect to the Internet and access educational resources, including virtual summer school classes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift to online learning continue, Comcast saw the need to address the lack of Internet access among students that, for a variety of reasons, are not able to participate in virtual learning from home. The Lift Zones are located at facilities of Comcast community partners, including the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation.
“It’s been great to have the Lift Zone here. It’s a wonderful resource for our children and families,” said Terri Florio, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation Executive Director. “It’s particularly beneficial for us to have the internet access available now when our summer camps are in session.”
This initiative provides free hotspot connectivity both inside and outside the locations and access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning. Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect more than eight million low-income people to the Internet at home.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of digital inclusion for everyone. Internet access is more important than ever to ensure no students or families are left behind,” said Bill Ferry, Senior Director of External Affairs and Community Impact for Comcast in North Florida. “Besides attending virtual classes and completing online schoolwork, students and their families can also access important school updates, educational apps and programs as well as the latest news and telehealth applications.”
Last September, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide. This effort is part of its 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.
The Jacksonville Lift Zones are located at:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida – Southwind Villas Club
- Jacksonville Arts & Music School
- MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation
- Sanctuary on 8th Street
Already this year, Comcast has opened six Lift Zones in Tallahassee in May, 11 Lift Zones in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast in April and 18 Lift Zones throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in February.