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Community ImpactMay 8, 2018

The Impact of Our Spectrum Digital Education Grants

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It’s been an exciting year for Spectrum Digital Education, as deserving nonprofits across the country put their Spectrum Digital Education Grants into motion.

Programs from California to North Carolina were fueled, in part, thanks to the 17 grants Spectrum awarded to nonprofits last fall to help educate the communities we serve on the benefits of broadband. The grants totaled approximately $400,000 and are part of an overall $1 million commitment we made.

Keep reading to learn some of the important work done by the nonprofits Spectrum has awarded grants to.

Wisconsin’s DANEnet Expands its Reach

Jacqueline enjoyed a social media class as part of DANEnet’s seven-week digital literacy session this winter.

Spectrum’s $15,000 Digital Education grant helped DANEnet, a nonprofit in Madison, Wisconsin, accelerate their 2018 efforts by adding digital literacy sessions to its offerings.

The grant helped DANEnet’s “Everyone on Madison” program. The program focuses on teaching the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the digital age, getting participants access to high-speed broadband in the home, and providing a working device, like a tablet or computer. DANEnet expects to help 100 households with the grant from Spectrum.

Students recently completed a seven-week digital literacy session that covered computer basics like searching the internet, and using email and word processing. At the end of every seven-week class, participants are given the option to take home a quality desktop computer for $50 to $65. The grant also helped fund a free clinic in Madison where tech-savvy volunteers fixed 18 devices – underscoring the importance access to a working device has on achieving digital equity.

Helping Seniors Discover New Technology in Syracuse

Carolyn and New York State Sen. David Valesky (D-Oneida) connected at the Westcott Community Center.

Spectrum provided an $8,248 grant to the Westcott Community Center in Syracuse, to help seniors connect to the people most important to them. The grant allowed the nonprofit to purchase 20 tablets to provide training to community members.

Carolyn, pictured above, was one of 20 seniors who took a 9-week tablet training class beginning in February. Her classmate Millie, 64, said she admittedly doesn’t know much about technology, but was eager to learn to stay connected to her daughters. “I have three daughters in the United States military and two of them are in the Middle East,” said Millie.

Research shows that that when people stay connected to their friends and family they actually live longer, said Joan Royle, Executive Director at the Westcott Community Center. “Those social interactions are so important to people,” she said.

Urban League Kansas City Runs a Digital Spectrum Academy

The Urban League of Greater Kansas City launched a Digital Spectrum Academy this winter to help participants better navigate the internet.

The Urban League of Greater Kansas City launched its newly formed Digital Spectrum Academy in February thanks to a $34,000 grant from Spectrum. The first class included curriculum to help participants find employment, and receive tips on resume building, job searching and interviewing.

The Digital Spectrum Academy also offers courses for seniors on how to use the internet to stay connected, and tips for people of any age to learn more about managing finances and keeping a budget. One unique aspect of the program is that instructors travel to community centers to meet participants in convenient locations, as an alternative to asking them to travel to the Urban League center.

Austin Free-Net Helps Seniors in Texas

Austin Free-Net received a $25,000 grant from Spectrum to help reach its goal of teaching hundreds of underserved, low-income senior citizens in the Austin, Texas area how to safely and securely navigate the internet.

To celebrate the award, Spectrum staff was invited to sit in a class of 15 students at the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center. The seniors were guided on how to make a photo album by loading their personal photos from their phones and computers into an app.

For a full list of our inaugural Spectrum Digital Education grant recipients, click here