Former NFL Coach Tony Dungy Visits his Native Jackson - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Former NFL Coach Tony Dungy Visits his Native Jackson

Jackson native and Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy came back to his hometown this morning to talk to students about how important Internet access is to their education.  

It was a warm Jackson welcome home for Dungy, who was greeted with a standing ovation at Middle School at Parkside, formerly Parkside High School, Dungy's alma mater.      

"This will be above the Super Bowl trophy, gosh," said Dungy when presented with a memorabilia collage from the school.

Dungy visited his alma mater with executives from Comcast, with a message for the entire community –Internet access equals success in the classroom.

"It is essential to succeed in life today," said Comcast Vice President David L. Cohen, who added when some students don't have access to the Internet while others do, "it allows the wealthier populations to run further ahead and the poorer populations to fall further behind. So that's the design of the program, to close that digital divide. TO bring the equalizing potential to everyone, regardless of the income level where they live or the income level of their parents."

"Kids that don't have access to it are going to be at a disadvantage. So to give people an opportunity to say you know what, I can get that help. That's so important," said Dungy.

Dungy's made visits to schools nationwide, spreading the word about "Internet Essentials", a program that offers affordable Internet access to those who need it.

"Nine ninety-five a month for Internet for low income families, and all the projects off that, that is wonderful," said Dungy.

Comcast even awarded a few lucky students with free laptops, including Ethan Huston, who earned his by winning the school's essay contest.

"I was nervous when they called me up and then I was happy at the same time, my hands were all sweaty," said Ethan.

Ethan, who normally has to stay at school after class to use the Internet, says being able to do schoolwork from home will be a little easier now.

"I'll just be able to stay up in my room and do homework," said Ethan.

That home access is an advantage Dungy says will hopefully level the playing field for all students.

The Dungy Family Foundation donated six months worth of free Internet access to all Parkside families, in addition to a 25 thousand dollar donation to the Martin Luther King community center in Jackson to upgrade the buildings Tony Dungy Media Center.  

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