According to a recent press release from Arthur Motta, the Community and Public Affairs Manager for New Bedford Public Schools, the district’s teachers and staff have been reaching out to students and their families consistently during the school closure.

“Teachers and staff are connecting regularly with families to ensure they have access to resources and support to continue their student’s academic enrichment through the district’s remote learning programming,” said Motta. “To ensure equity NBPS is collaborating with Comcast Internet Essentials to sponsor internet access for six months for families who do not currently have internet access and who have not had Comcast internet in the past 90 days.”

The program is being made possible in part through funding from the New Bedford Education Foundation, a fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts (Community Foundation).

In recognizing Comcast and the Community Foundation, Superintendent Thomas Anderson stated, “It is vital that we do all we can to ensure that our students have the tools and the access they need to continue learning remotely. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program is a means to help provide equity for every student no matter their income status. We thank the Community Foundation for its role in making this a reality for our students.”

John Vasconcellos, Community Foundation President, noted, “the COVID19 crisis has presented extreme challenges here at home and across the world. But it is a challenge for which our Community Foundation was created. As a regional leader in philanthropy for education, we manage 75 educational funds that provide scholarships to local students and grants for local organizations to increase educational attainment and opportunity. A grant to help students to continue learning during this crisis is a vital program we are pleased to assist.”

Qualifying New Bedford Public School families may call the district’s Help Line at the NBPS Family Welcome Center: (508) 997-4515 or email fwc@newbedfordschools.org to receive a personalized code and directions for receiving internet access through Comcast Internet Essentials.

This period of social distancing, working from home, and remote learning through COVID-19 has not been easy. I cannot imagine how much harder it is for those who do not have access to something we so often take for granted. Providing these children with six months of internet access to give them one of the biggest resources for remote learning is crucial. I applaud this collaboration and everyone who took part in making it a reality.

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