HELP BRING DIGITAL LITERACY TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Are you looking to help bring digital literacy to your community? Government funding is available! The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created the Broadband Adoption Account to provide grants to organizations that want to help their communities have access to the Internet. Community Tech Network has been providing services to grant recipients since 2015. The first deadline to apply was on July 1, but a new cycle will begin in six months. You can watch our past webinars for the application process.
COMMUNITY TECH NETWORK SPOTLIGHT
Partner Spotlight: Burbank Housing
As part of a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Burbank Housing partnered with Community Tech Network to offer its elderly residents digital literacy courses. Burbank Housing Mary Lockhart says that the classes have helped community members bond, while also allowing them to connect virtually with their families. “CTN is not only bringing communities together, but it’s bringing families together as well,” she says. Read more about CTN’s partnership with Burbank Housing here.
Learner Spotlight: Shameka
Thirty-five-year-old Shameka heard about CTN through our partner, Compass Family Services, which supports homeless and at-risk families and helps them become economically self-sufficient. Through CTN’s digital literacy classes, Shameka learned about cyber safety, which she said now helps her monitor her children’s activities online. She also learned how to use Zoom, which enabled her to later sign up for online certification courses, thereby changing the path of her career. Learn more about Shameka’s story here.
Staff Spotlight: Skye Downing
Skye Downing first discovered the Digital Divide when she realized that most of the other parents at her son’s school were offline and unable to communicate with school officials. Now, Skye works as CTN’s capacity-building program manager, helping develop curricula for other organizations so that they can provide digital literacy training to their clients. Says Skye, “If we train 10 organizations and they each serve 50 to 100 people, our impact is expanded. If we hope to close, or even bridge, the digital divide, this is a sensible way to go about it.” Learn more about Skye on our blog.
Tech Week – CTN has been participating in the San Francisco Public Library’s annual Tech Week for the past eight years. This year, through a series of workshops, CTN staff taught attendees a range of practical skills, including how to use QR codes, take screenshots, partake in online shopping, and manage Google calendars. Says CTN’s Senior Program Manager, Stephen Minor, “It’s a positive experience for everyone.” Read more about CTN’s participation in Tech Week here.
CTN Workshops: Last month, CTN hosted an Affordable Connectivity Program workshop at the OMI Senior Center, where we helped five attendees sign up to receive a discount for broadband or apply their Lifeline benefit to their existing Internet service. This month, we hosted a Tech Support Pop-Up Event at I.T. Bookman Community Center, in which we answered general questions about the internet and software and also helped with applications for discounted services.
STAND UP FOR DIGITAL EQUITY
Digital Literacy and Access is a Human Rights Issue – In today’s society, many vital tasks have become digital, including accessing healthcare, managing one’s finances, applying for government services, and searching and applying for jobs. Yet, over 19 million Americans still lack access to high-speed internet at home. Those without internet access are unable to obtain crucial health, economic, and educational resources, thereby exacerbating already existing social and economic inequalities. Learn more about why bridging the digital divide is a human rights issue.
The Inequality of Digital Access – Due to already existing social and economic inequalities, certain groups are more likely to have limited access to broadband services than others. In particular, ethnic minorities, older adults, disabled individuals, low-income households, and families from rural areas are the least likely to be connected. Read more statistics about the inequalities of digital access and literacy across the country.
Don’t forget to read CTN’s 2021 Annual Report! While 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic certainly presented new challenges, we are proud of our growth and flexibility from the last year.