The wonderful thing about my life as a mother is seeing the growth and independence thrive in my children.  Each day we do our part to mold their little cocoons and it’s in many things that we often take for granted that provide the essential tools to make this happen. 

Recently, I enrolled my daughter in overnight summer camp which is a big step for us as we typically are cautious about sleepovers and leaving our children in the hands of strangers.  We realized that she is now at the age where she can learn to be more liberated and grasp new skills and experiences without me peeking over her shoulder.  It’s something that is not easy for us to do as parents, I know, but it’s imperative for their development and life journey. 

The enrollment process was done online (as are most extra-curricular activities) and took minutes of filling out forms before finally processing. We were also able to set-up payments securely online as well.

Prior to enrolling my daughter in summer camp, I did plenty of research on summer camps including the one we chose before making our final decision. It’s amazing how helpful websites and review forums are when researching pretty much anything before investing in it. 

Back in the day, I remember only relying on word-of-mouth referrals (which is still important!).  Thankfully now, we have access to so much information that can help us substantially from everything to honest un-biased reviews to tips to recipes and DIY’s.

My laptop has been having issues as of late and it wasn’t only until the dreaded black screen appeared and then having it out of commission for a bit for repair did I realize how essential having access to a computer and internet is.

I do a lot from my mobile as well (another life-saver!), but there are times when it is just not enough to meet the needs for our entire family. 

In this digital age, access to a proper computer and especially high-speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity for every home.  It helps my kids daily with their homework, studies, and projects, it has helped us with extra-curricular enrollments, online applications, independent, digital courses/studies that would be impossible to complete through a mobile device.  And it is my absolute main and fundamental component for my work.

Even simple-to-us enjoyments and moments like enjoying Netflix for movie nights, playing and enjoying music through Bluetooth devices and connecting to our favourite music streaming sites or connecting with friends and family through Skype or Facetime would be impossible without internet access. 

It is disheartening to know that so many families unfortunately do not have these basic digital necessities in their homes. 

Recently I read on Telus that a study from ACORN Canada found that home internet connectivity accounts for a seven percent increase in graduation rates. That number has very real consequences in Canada, where 42 percent of families in poverty do not have internet access, according to Statistics Canada.

For The Good

On a really positive and promising note, I also learned of Telus’ For Good Initiative which includes Internet For Good. 

The program, TELUS Internet for Good, is the first of its kind in Canada and gives qualified households up to 25 Mbps download speeds at a cost of $9.95 per month. Additionally, families can purchase low-cost refurbished laptops and tap into important educational programs such as TELUS Wise, as well as free digital literacy resources through TELUS’ partnerships with a number of local non-profits.

Entirely funded by TELUS, with no government subsidies or costs to taxpayers, the program was developed to empower youth to reach their full potential in an increasingly digital world. In Canada, where kids are on connected devices an average of three hours per day, high-speed internet access is a critical factor in giving every child, regardless of his or her family’s income status, the opportunity to succeed.

Click here to learn more about Telus’ For Good programs.

There isn’t a day that passes that I am not thankful for sitting in front of my computer and accessing “the world” at my fingertips with a few taps.  “First-world problems” I always use to tease whenever someone around me complains about their tech device being wonky or unreliable.  Now, I am more sensitive knowing that even in this first-world, people around us — neighbours, friends, classmates – for them, this is a very real problem. 

Really thinking about it, what are ways that you use the internet and computer to do things for your family that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to without?

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with TELUS as a TELUS_Partner; however, all opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.

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