“There is a common misconception that since Sunnyvale is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, we don’t have residents in need,” says Angela Chan, youth and family resources manager for the City of Sunnyvale. “What we’ve found is that we have pockets of residents with high needs throughout the city, but sometimes it’s hard to reach them.”
In 2019, CTN began a partnership with the City of Sunnyvale to teach parents of school-age children to use the tools of the internet. Each learner received a Chromebook laptop to participate in classes — which focused on using technology to better communicate with the schools, monitor their children’s technology usage, and perhaps even find jobs or economic opportunities for themselves. Over the course of two years, the program aims to train 650 adults in multiple languages.
While our digital parenting program has been a success thus far, we were excited to branch out and work with new learners in Sunnyvale. Last month, we wrapped up our first cohort of Mandarin-speaking seniors at the Sunnyvale Senior Center. We had 13 learners successfully complete this course, including three couples who decided to take the course together, and awarded a total of 10 Android tablets.
Meeting twice a week for four total sessions, CTN Instructor Tom Yang helped these new tech users feel comfortable using the internet for their needs and interests. Topics included basic navigation of the device, getting connected to Wi-Fi, searching the internet, downloading apps, using email, and staying safe online.
Here’s what Sunnyvale’s Angela Chan had to say about our collaborative partnership:
City of Sunnyvale is excited to offer basic Digital Literacy classes focused on low-income older adults in partnership with CTN. Thanks to relationships with partner organizations such as Self Help for the Elderly, Senior Nutrition Program, and affordable housing for low-income seniors, we were able to recruit and serve 13 older adults in a Mandarin basic digital literacy program where all 13 completed 8 hours of training and took home a new tablet to continue to practice the skills they learned in class. We are currently recruiting more older adults to offer the same class in English at the Sunnyvale Senior Center.
Many thanks to the City of Sunnyvale — as well as this program’s funder, the California Public Utilities Commission — for their collaborative support in making this program possible!