Fun and games, Internet access program highlight Day for Kids
PARKERSBURG — The announcement of a new program providing Internet access at a reduced cost for income-qualified families was part of the fourth annual Day for Kids held Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg.
Saturday was the fourth year the Parkersburg club participated in the Day for Kids organized by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
There were games, activities and food for children and adults in attendance. The goal of the event was to create time for positive interaction, organizers said.
Bob Mercer, a board member with the Circles Campaign of the Mid-Ohio Valley, said this year Circles asked to partner with the club as part of an announcement made by Suddenlink Communications. He hopes Circles can be part of the annual celebration on a regular basis.
“It’s great,” he said of the Day for Kids program. “The kids are having fun, they seem to be enjoying it.”
Mark Bock, sales and community manager for Suddenlink Communications/Altice USA, said the company understands the ongoing importance of reliable Internet service in terms of education, information access and communications.
The company works with schools, libraries and other community services to make sure access is available. As part of Saturday’s program at the Boys and Girls Club, Bock announced a new home Internet service called Economy Internet through Suddenlink, which the company hopes will make broadband internet service more accessible to families in the area.
“We believe it’s important to support solutions for closing the digital divide and give all students a chance to meet their full potential,” Bock said.
The new Economy Internet service is available throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley to Suddenlink customers at $14.99 per month, with the equipment provided free to those who qualify under the income guidelines, Bock said. The new service is primarily aimed at families who qualify for the National School Lunch Program for free and reduced meals in area schools.
Bock said the low-cost program will also be available to senior citizens ages 65 and older who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). More information is available online at www.geteconomyinternet.com or by calling 844-358-3147.
During Saturday’s announcement, Lisa Parsons, executive director of Circles, said the Suddenlink announcement grew out of other work the campaign has done, including a spring forum involving representatives from various agencies and organizations.
One of several results of that forum was knowledge about the growing importance of Internet and computer access for current high school students. Technology including smartphones, computers and the Internet are becoming more intertwined with regular classroom instruction, including classwork for smartphones, assignments posted online and online testing.
Since education is one path out of poverty, Circles is looking to help students obtain Internet access, Parsons said.