Students study at the Boys & GIrls Club Lift Zone.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Holland will use a $50,000 grant to help advance digital equity for more Holland students and families.
The youth organization has received a $50,000 Lift Zone Opportunity Fund grant from Comast designed to deliver a best-in-class experience for members and families at their location.
The club’s Lift Zone is one of five Comcast has launched in West Michigan — and one of 50 across the state — since October 2020. Nationwide, there are more than1,000 Lift Zones.
Lift Zones assist families that are unable to connect to the internet in their home for a variety of reasons. The initiative provides free, robust Wi-Fi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students and families get online, participate in distance learning, do homework, search for jobs, and access health care information and public assistance.
“We are grateful to Comcast for their generous grant to upgrade our club’s Lift Zone,” says Craig Spoelhof, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Holland. “In addition to offering more technology for youth and the community to use, we are designing a dedicated space with more functional work areas for our students to complete their digital learning.”
He adds that the grant will also give “much-needed technology support to our ‘To Graduation and Beyond’ program for teens, where the club’s program staff walk alongside eighth- through 12th-grade students as they make decisions about their future and complete application and scholarship requirements online.”
Digital equity investment
This grant announcement follows Comcast’s $180,000 digital equity investment with its nonprofit and public partners in Grand Rapids in October.
Comcast awarded $30,000 and a total of 500 laptop computers, valued at $150,000, to five nonprofit organizations. The computer donations and grants, along with the Lift Zone Opportunity Fund grants, are part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people over the next 10 years with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world.
For the past 10 years, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected more people to the internet and to the technology they need to participate and excel in an increasingly digital world. The program offers low-income families high-speed broadband internet service for $9.95 per month, the option to purchase a heavily subsidized, low-cost internet-ready computer, and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person.
The program is part of the company’s $1 billion commitment to advancing digital equity. For over a decade, connecting more people to the internet has been a core focus for the company.