2013 Recap: A Year of Real Growth

JANUARY 12, 2014

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In train the trainer classes volunteers learn to teach digital literacy.

In train the trainer classes volunteers learn to teach digital literacy.

  • January: Center on Westport Road in Kansas City, MO is opened and a digital life skills classes and PC refurbishing begin.
  • March: Rick Deane leaves the board of directors when and he and Dan Harmon become the first employees. All of the residents of Posada del Sol, a 60 unit low income senior housing facility in Kansas City MO, receive free in-home Internet in partnership with Westside Housing.
  • April: Work begins on a four block wide Wi-Fi “hotspot” to bring free Internet to 300 households at the Juniper Gardens public housing project in partnership with the Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority.
  • May: Connecting for Good is providing free bandwidth to over 500 low income households using Wi-Fi mesh networks and “backhaul” delivered through wireless microwave point-to-point technology.
  • July: headquarters moves to 3101 Troost in Kansas City, MO to gain additional space for growing programs. A PC refurbishing workshop is set up in the lower level, with second floor offices and fourth floor classroom. Sitting on the highest elevation in KC’s urban core the building’s rooftop provides line of sight for several miles in every direction for AirFiber dishes.
  • August: Free wireless bandwidth is extended to 31st and Troost and to the 18th and Vine District. KC Freedom Network is established in partnership with the Free Network Foundation, the Mutual Musicians Foundation and Reconciliation Services. Its purpose is to extend connectivity to underserved neighborhoods in the city through an Internet co-up model.
  • September: Fall 2013 Digital Inclusion Campaign is launched running through November to bring digital literacy training and inexpensive computers to the twenty “fiberhoods” that were last to qualify for installation of Google Fiber. Over 300 people participate in free digital life skills classes at fifteen different locations around the city.
  • October: Engineering and feasibility studies begin in order to assess the opportunities for extending wireless connectivity to Kansas City’s urban core neighborhoods in partnership with the Kansas City Public Schools, the Upper Room and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative.
  • December: Work begins on the Northeast Wyandotte County Community Technology Center on N. 3rd Street in Kansas City, KS across from the Juniper Gardens housing project. The organization’s second location has a 20 workstation public access computer lab is working to spread digital literacy and technology adoption in this needy area.

Though beginning 2013 as an all-volunteer organization, we start the new year with four full-time employees, one part-time staff member and a full-time intern. Most importantly, by year end over 1,000 people in Kansas City’s under resourced neighborhoods had participated in the free training session and over 600 low cost refurbished computers found their way into the homes of low income families.

The staff and board of Connecting for Good gratefully acknowledge our many contributors and volunteers for making 2013 such a successful launch year. With your continuing support, we are certain to make an even bigger impact in 2014!

Learn more about how you can get involved.

Written by Tom Esselman

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