Obama to announce eBook initiative for low-income students | us news

Obama to announce eBook initiative for low-income students

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama Promotes E-Book Gift for Poor Kids Amid Inequality Debate.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Linking reading to technology, the White House marshaled major book publishers to provide more than $250 million in free e-books to low-income students and is seeking commitments from local governments and schools across the country to ensure that every student has a library card. President Barack Obama was to announce the two initiatives Thursday at a Washington library as part of his two-year-old ConnectED program that aims to improve education through digital connectivity. As a part of Discovery Education’s “Of the People” webinar series, students from around the country will join to discuss new efforts to strengthen learning opportunities by improving access to digital reading content and public libraries. The offer of e-books comes as low-income households still lag far behind others in computer ownership, but White House officials said libraries and schools in poor communities are increasing access to the Internet. Aides hinted that the president would use the event as a demonstration of how the administration is addressing income inequality amid racial unrest in cities like Baltimore. “If we’re serious about living up to what our country is about, then we have to consider what we can do to provide opportunities in every community, not just when they’re on the front page, but every day,” National Economic Council director Jeff Zients said Wednesday in a conference call for reporters.

But the program, which features commitments from brand-name publishers like Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster, faces some hurdles in reaching the children who could benefit the most. Cecilia Munoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council, pointed to the “presence of a lot more devices in schools” and said that Apple Inc. had previously pledged to donate $100 million in iPads, laptops, and software to underprivileged schools.

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