Update on Summer 2014 Digital Inclusion Efforts

OCTOBER 8, 2014

Tags: Digital Inclusion

Summer 2014 Highlights

Family Computer Day at the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.

Family Computer Day at the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.

Throughout the summer of 2014 we’ve continued to bring our digital life skills classes to people in Kansas City’s under resourced urban core neighborhoods. In the last few months we introduced Family Computer Days which have been held at inner city neighborhood centers, churches and schools. After the classes, participants can take home a PC for as low as $75.00. By the end of this year, we expect to have trained over 2,000 people, 25% of whom have never used a computer.

Digital Life Skills classes at the Reconciliation Services Internet Cafe

Digital Life Skills classes at the Reconciliation Services Internet Cafe

We’ve partnered with Reconciliation Services to create the first public computing space on Troost Avenue. With the Internet Cafe up and running at 31st & Troost, we are conducting digital literacy classes there twice a week with growing attendance. Additional activities are offered to provide people in this central inner city neighborhood access to free computer time and other career and learning opportunities.

Teens use the PCs at our KCK Community Technology Center

Teens use the PCs at our KCK Community Technology Center

Our NE Wyandotte County Community Technology Center is serving the Juniper Gardens housing project and surrounding community in partnership with the Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority. Since we opened the 20 seat public access computer lab in March 2014, 1100 adults ages 19 to 80 have used the facility to take advantage of classes and open lab time. About 75% of the adults who come are women, most of whom are seeking employment opportunities online. Additionally, almost 700 teens and preteens have come to do homework, social networking and online games. We are privileged to provide an important service to residents in this needy neighborhood who don’t own computers or have in-home Internet.

Interns from the Cristo Rey Kansas City assist daily in our programs

Interns from the Cristo Rey Kansas City assist daily in our programs

This school year, we have been serving as a site for the Corporate Work Study Program of Cristo Rey Kansas City. It is a Catholic high school that serves under resourced urban core students. These interns are learning valuable work skills as they assist in tutoring people who come to our community technology center and get involved with PC refurbishing and other aspects of our operations.

Everet Leimer works in our PC refurbishing shop at 2006 N 3rd Street

Everet Leimer works in our PC refurbishing shop at 2006 N 3rd Street

In September we finalized the consolidation of our PC refurbishing operations to our Kansas City KS center. The workshop is now producing about 200 high quality, Internet-ready computers a month. 80% of them have gone to low income families and 20% have gone to cash-strapped nonprofit organizations. We are providing low cost computers to people in our community and at the same time these efforts produce about 40% of our operating revenue.

Your contributions help us to get more low income KC residents online. Won’t you help today?

 

Written by Tom Esselman

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