New National Commitment to Benefit HUD's ConnectHome Initiative

HUD recently announced Common Sense Media Inc. has become a national participant in HUD’s ConnectHome initiative, a public-private collaboration to connect families living in HUD-assisted housing to affordable high-speed Internet. Common Sense Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering kids to thrive in a world of media and technology. Families, educators, and policymakers turn to Common Sense for unbiased information and trusted advice to help them learn how to harness the positive power of media and technology for all kids.

Under the new commitment to ConnectHome, Common Sense will make available through on-the-ground training and online webinars a suite of its high-quality digital citizenship resources, including Connecting Families, Digital Compass, and Digital Passport to all 28 ConnectHome communities. The content is available in English and Spanish, and includes an array of resources, including videos, tipsheets, case studies, facilitator guides, and video games that support and empower adults and children to think critically, participate responsibly, and behave ethically in their online lives.

In July, President Obama and HUD Secretary Castro announced ConnectHome as one of several federal efforts designed to reduce digital inequality in schools and homes across the country. ConnectHome, led in the private sector by national nonprofit EveryoneOn, offers broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in HUD-assisted housing in 28 communities across the nation.

“Through ConnectHome, we are able to provide more Americans with the opportunity to remain competitive with communities across the globe,” said Secretary Castro. “Common Sense’s new commitment of digital content benefits the entire family–empowering kids to think critically and giving parents the peace of mind to know that their children are safely participating in the digital world.”

While most Americans take high-speed Internet for granted, more than 5 million households with school-aged children in the U.S. do not have it. And research shows that lower-income and minority communities have lower broadband adoption rates than the population at large. But expanding access to broadband has also been shown to boost educational, economic, and health outcomes, making ConnectHome and other efforts to reduce the ‘homework gap’ and digital inequality vitally important steps toward boosting educational achievement and reducing income inequality in America.