NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday, Aug. 28 the launch of EveryoneOn NY, a public and private partnership that will provide Internet access to low-income families.
“Since its launch last year, the EveryoneOn approach has helped bridge the nation’s Internet divide so that everyone has access to the Internet,” he said at a press event in one of the classrooms of Harlem’s Community Action School, MS 258 on 93rd Street.
The nationwide initiative of EveryoneOn was offered by Connect2Compete as a way to provide Americans with high-speed Internet packages and low-cost computers.
EveryoneOn and Connect2Compete CEO, Zachary Leverenz said, “It’s no longer a luxury; it’s an essential to have Internet connectivity.”
Seventeen seventh-graders watched a presentation by Rolando Brown, an instructor for EveryoneOn, who told them about how to use the Internet responsibly. He also asked the children to write up what they thought were the benefits of the Internet.
“The Internet can help me make new friends,” “Help you with homework,” and help “Learn more about famous people,” the children wrote, after which Brown showed them videos about online security and Skype.
Then one seventh-grader, Michael, volunteered to make a call over Skype and the children were connected to former New York Knicks guard, John Starks. About seven children put up their hands when Brown asked if they had used the program before.
“You guys have a big opportunity nowadays,” Starks told the children. Then, he surprised them by walking into the classroom and answering basketball related questions.
One in four New York households does not have access to the Internet, and more than 80 percent of teachers in the United States said that students don’t have access to digital tools that are needed to help them complete assignments.
Bloomberg was also joined by U.S. Department of Education Acting Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton; NYC Chancellor of Education Dennis M. Walcott; Carlos Slim Foundation board member, Carlos Slim Domit; and the MS 258 school’s Principal John Curry.