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Connecting children

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Most American children can access the Internet from home, but low-income and minority kids and children with disabilities are falling behind, a new study says.

Overall, nearly seven in 10 children ages seven to 17 have access to the Internet at the homes, up from fewer than two in 10 a decade ago, says the report, “Measuring Digital Opportunity for America’s Children.”

Among wealthier children, or those from households with incomes of $75,000 or more, nearly eight in 10 use home computers to do their homework, the study says, compared to only three in 10 children from households earning less than $15,000 a year.

More than four in 10 white and Asian children use home computers for word processing or desktop publishing, the study says, compared to slightly more than two in 10 African-American, Latino and Native American children.

The study also found that parents of low-income children use email to communicate with their children’s teachers only one-third as much as do their wealthier counterparts.

However, when Internet access is made available to low-income and minority children, the study says, the gap between them and wealthier white children is closing.

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