Dungy Promotes Home Internet Access in Jackson

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

"To be able to even that out a little bit and let people who really want to achieve, give them the opportunity to do that, this is what it's all about," said Dungy.

When Tony Dungy graduated from Jackson's Parkside High School in 1973, he was a star in several sports, most notably football. But while athletics hasn't changed too much since then, academics are a different story.

"40 years ago, we used something called encyclopedias," said Dungy.

One thing that hasn't changed, however, is the lack of resources for those with low incomes. In the age of the internet, millions of families are still without home access.

On Monday, Dungy, in partnership with Comcast, spoke to around 700 students at what is now the Middle School at Parkside about bridging the digital divide. The Dungy Family Foundation also donated one year of internet access through Comcast's 'Internet Essentials' program to Parkside's low-income families.

"To be able to even that out a little bit and let people who really want to achieve, give them the opportunity to do that, this is what it's all about," said Dungy.

It's all part of the program's third-year relaunch. 'Internet Essentials' provides affordable internet access for low-income families.

At Parkside, more than half of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, so Principal Kelly Pennington says any program that helps reduce the price of Internet in the home is extremely helpful.

"Without being able to have computers and access, they wouldn't be growing at the rate they are," she said.

It's a message Dungy couldn't stress enough to his hometown crowd.

"Knowing how to handle it and also being able to compete with those who have it is crucial," he said.


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