ME School’s Out, But Learning Goes On(line) With The Internet (NAPSA)—For manyschoolchildren, summertime means days of fun in the sun, family road trips and visits from the ice cream truck. But many parents don’t realize that summer can also mean learning loss. Studies have found that nearly all children lose knowledge over the summer. In fact, when children head back to school in the fall, they are one month behind academically. This loss adds up year after year, especially for students from lowincome families who may not have access to summertime enrichment opportunities, like camp, tutoring, and regular trips to the library. This can significantly impact a child’s success in school andin life over the long term. Overcoming Learning Loss One way families can overcome summerlearning loss is to make sure they have in-home Internet access for their children. The Internet provides access to an infinite number of online resources for all ages and across all subjects. While it can be easy to slip out of the routine of learning when school is out, it’s possible to keep kids engaged over the summer with online educational games, research on topics of interest, downloadable programs to brush up on math and grammar, or simply by reading a book online. Unfortunately, about 30 percent of Americans, many of whom live below the poverty line, do not have With a service such asthis, stu- dents and families can connect to free, online educational tools over the summer, including some of these top suggestions from Parent ing.com: One way families can overcome learning loss when school is out is to make sure they have in- home Internet access for their children. Internet access in their homes. This is particularly concerning because children from low-income families have been found to have a steeper rate of learning loss over the summer, specifically in the area of reading. To help connect these families to the Internet, Comcast is offering a program it calls Internet Essentials. Closing The Digital Divide Described as the nation’s largest, most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative, it’s designed to help close the digital divide between those who have Internet in their home and those whodon’t. The program provides families who have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program with Internet for $9.95 a month; the option to buy a computer for less than $150; and access to digital literacy training. *PBS Kids (pbskids.org)—Find learning games associated with your favorite PBS Kids characters, including Clifford, Curious George, The Cat in the Hat and more. *National Geographic Kids (kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids) —Keep kids engaged with interactive and educational games, photos, video and information. FunBrain (www.funbrain.com) —Math baseball and Mad Libs Juniorfor kidsofall age levels. Spatulatta (www.spatulatta. com)—Find kid-friendly cooking tips and recipes with lots of helpful videos. *NGA Kids (www.nga.gov/ kids/kids.htm)—Explore art adventures with help from the National Gallery of Art. Programs such as Internet Essentials have the capacity to change the lives of students for the better by providing opportunities for learning when school is not in session. To learn more, visit www.Inter netEssentials.com, or Internet Basico.com for Spanish. Educators or third parties can visit Internet Essentials.com/Partner. Parents looking to enroll students can call 1-855-846-8376, or for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.