We have begun 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.
We have already set up a 14 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 can close the Digital Divide by making Internet access and technology available to people with limited resources, As a result, we will see a lasting, positive impact on their lives.
Thank you so much for your continued interest and support!
Our Fall 2013 Digital Inclusion Campaign has kept our staff and volunteers very busy for the months of October and November. We have been conducting free digital life skills classes at our Troost center and at locations throughout the community. These efforts have already allowed us to introduce nearly 300 first-time users to the Internet. Because many of these people had limited income, they also qualified for a quality refurbished computer for just $50.00.
Oct 1 – 31st & Troost
Oct 2 – 31st & Troost
Oct 2 – St. Luke’s Lutheran, KCK
Oct 3 – 31st & Troost
Oct 4 – 31st & Troost
Oct 5 – 31st & Troost
Oct 8 – Posada del Sol
Oct 15 – 31st & Troost
Oct 22 — Urban League
Oct 23 — Cleaver Family YMCA
Oct 24 — 31st & Troost
Oct 24 – St. Luke’s Lutheran, KCK
Oct 25 — 31st & Troost
Oct 29 — Bluford Library
Oct 30 — Brush Creek Community Center
Oct 31 — 31st & Troost
Nov 1 — 31st & Troost
Nov 2 — Bartle Hall – KC Black Expo
Nov 3 — Bartle Hall – KC Black Expo
Nov 4 — Green Impact Zone
Nov 5 — Linwood YMCA
Nov 6 — Cleaver Family YMCA
Nov 7 — 31st & Troost
Nov 8 — 31st & Troost
Nov 12 — Brush Creek Community Center
Nov 14 — 31st & Troost
Nov 15 — 31st & Troost
Nov 16 –Ivanhoe Neighborhood Association
Nov 18 – Posada del Sol
Nov 19 – Linwood YMCA
Nov 20 – Blue Hills Community Services
Nov 21 – Urban League
Nov 22 – 31st & Troost
Nov 26 – Literacy Kansas City
There are a few training dates set for November that are coming up and we still need volunteers to assist our trainers. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us.
After November, we will continue to conduct classes on Thursday and Fridays at the 3101 Troost and will conduct regular training sessions twice a week at the Juniper Gardens housing project where we brought free Wi-Fi to all 300 households last Spring.
Thanks to everyone who has provided volunteer and financial support to make this all of this possible!