As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families and individuals to the Internet so they can fully participate in the digital economy, Comcast today announced the Olathe Unit of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City is now a high-speed Internet enabled Lift Zone. Lift Zones provide free WiFi access in community centers. The goal is to help children who would not otherwise have access to the Internet at home have an opportunity to access the Internet so they don’t get behind in their school work. This complements Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which since 2011 has helped connect more than 10 million low-income Americans to the Internet at home, with more than 20,000 in Kansas and Missouri, including Olathe.
The grand opening celebration of Comcast’s first Lift Zone in Olathe, located at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Olathe Unit, was on Tuesday, March 29. With this opening, there are now three active Lift Zones in the Greater Kansas City Area—two in Independence at the Boys & Girls Clubs and this new addition at the Olathe Unit.
Highlights of the event included Comcast announcing a $25,000 matching pledge at the event and surprising over 70 children with free laptops who were present to help them stay connected.
Dignitaries attending the event were Dr. Dred Scott, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, LeEtta Felter, Olathe City Council and School Board Member, Ed Eilert, Johnson County Chairman, Shirley Allenbrand, Johnson County 6th District Commissioner, Julie Steele, Olathe School Board Member and Brent McCune, Advisory Committee Member of the Boys & Girls Club, Olathe Unit.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the team at Comcast,” remarked Dr. Dred Scott, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City. “Adding the Lift Zones to the Olathe Unit to help our Club members access the Internet is huge. During the pandemic many of our youth were forced to learn from home without having the technology, hardware and infrastructure to support that learning. I want to thank each and every member of the Comcast team that made the Lift Zone initiatives possible within our Clubs. It means so much because of the connection they have with the Club. This relationship and this partnership are much more than a transactional experience.”
“Having WiFi at the Lift Zone in the Olathe Unit is great because I can get my homework done right after school,” remarked 5th Grade Olathe Lift Zone Club Member, Aleria H. “When my homework is completed, it allows me to have more free time when I get home. I’m so glad the Club has WiFi!”
“Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City is part of our work striving to advance digital equity in communities across the Greater Kansas City area,” said Nicole Jacobson, Director, Technical Operations, Comcast. “Opening the Lift Zone at their facility in Olathe, Kansas allows us to support students and their families in Olathe and provide them with the high-speed broadband they need to stay connected.”
For more information about Internet Essentials, Lift Zones, and Comcast’s commitment to education and digital equity, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/education. Families and households can apply for the Internet Essentials program at www.internetessentials.com or by phone at 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish. Those who would like to open their hearts to help meet this goal should go to HelpKCKids.org to make a donation.