Comcast said it will equip seven locations in Berks County with Wi-Fi-connected “Lift Zones” over the next few months to help connect low-income families to the internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy,
Working with the Mifflin YMCA, Sinking Spring YMCA, United Community Services for Working Families and Calvary United Church of Christ, Comcast is providing Wi-Fi coverage at safe spaces in Reading and Sinking Spring that are expected to help thousands of low-income students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework.
“I commend Comcast on this stellar initiative and for enrolling YMCAs as a shining example of collaboration,” said Reading Mayor Eddie Morán in a statement. “The pandemic has affected everyone differently, especially economically. While parents had to choose between providing essentials over keeping an internet service during virtual learning, Wi-Fi Lift Zones have helped parents meet this challenge.”
Additional Lift Zones sites are currently under consideration for the LGBT Center of Reading, Salvation Army of Reading and Reading YMCA, with the goal to have all locations installed by early 2021. These Lift Zones will feature free Wi-Fi provided by Comcast, which will enable students to work on laptops and participate in distance learning. The initiative will provide free connectivity for these community centers for the next three years.
"We are so grateful for this partnership with Comcast in supporting the YMCA's efforts to provide safe spaces for Berks County students to enhance their virtual learning experiences," said Shelley Eppihimer, director of early education for YMCA of Reading and Berks County, in a statement.