NE Wyandotte County Computer Center

DECEMBER 3, 2013

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We began a new initiative in partnership with the Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority – the development of a community technology center in one of their properties,  2006 NE 3rd Street. It is located directly across the street from the Juniper Gardens housing complex where we currently provide free wireless Internet to about 300 low income households.

Along with serving the families at Juniper Gardens, the center will be a much-needed resource for residents of the entire Northeast KCK neighborhood. This is one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the KC Metro area with nearly 40% of residents living below the federal poverty level according to the 2010 US Census.

Through the community tech center, we will work to spread digital literacy and technology adoption in this needy area. We will do this by offering a free public access computer lab and Wi-Fi hotpsot. This will be especially helpful to high school students with school-issued laptops but no home Internet access. We are also looking to build a volunteer base so we can offer after-school tutoring and homework help that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

For adults, we will offer our free digital life skills classes. Those who complete these classes, and qualify as low income, can purchase high quality refurbished computers from us for just $50.00.  We plan to offer additional classes, eventually, including job seeking skills, software applications and GED preparation sessions.  Our computer refurbishing and repair operations in the building can be used to train interested people in technical skills that can lead to employment opportunities for them.

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We have already set up a 15 PC computer lab in the building and will be conducting some classes while remodeling is going on.

By late January, the facility will be open with regular hours of operation and a full-time staff. As we move forward with this project, we will be looking to connect with people in the community and other agencies who could work with us in this endeavor.  And, as we will be incurring some additional expenses as we set things up, we are seeking additional financial support.

If you are looking for a tax deductible year-end giving opportunity, please consider making an investment in this project.

Together, we are closing the Digital Divide. By making Internet access and technology available to people with limited resources, we are seeing a lasting, positive impact on their lives.

Thank you so much for your continued interest and support!

Written by Tom Esselman

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