INCREASING DIGITAL INCLUSION WITH AT&T AND METTA FUND
With fall in full swing, CTN is staying busy with new partner programs, new staff members, and exciting new grants. Admittedly, we have a lot going on! We recently talked with our funding partners at AT&T and Metta Fund about the importance of digital inclusion work. Their support makes it possible to launch new programs and continue providing digital skills training to the populations who need it most.
A longtime supporter and funder of CTN, Metta Fund is a private health foundation dedicated to San Francisco’s aging population and those furthest from access and opportunity. One of its primary focus areas is social connectedness — an increasingly important issue in a city where 31 percent of adults over age 65 live alone. With Metta Fund’s support, CTN has launched multiple programs that help older adults navigate a device and use the internet’s many tools for connectivity. “To me, CTN represents both technical expertise and a person-centered approach,” says Catherine Collen, senior program and grants officer at Metta Fund. “We’re so delighted in CTN’s focus on language and providing information to older adults in the language that they have primary comfort with.”
Another invaluable funding partner, AT&T, recently made a $2 billion, three-year commitment to help bridge the digital divide. As a part of this commitment, CTN received a $20,000 grant to support our Digital Parents program. This program will focus on bridging the digital divide for low-income families — teaching parents to effectively use the internet and support their childrens’ virtual activities. “Where I see CTN being such a force is in its ability to work with different groups of people that may be intimidated by technology or lack the access to a device and the skills to use it,” says AT&T’s Cammy Blackstone.
As we tackle new projects and grant opportunities, CTN is motivated to ensure that everyone— regardless of their age, circumstances, language, or income level — has the skills necessary to use the internet.
HEARING HEARTWARMING STORIES FROM CEI LEARNERS
Every couple of months, we have the special opportunity to celebrate senior learners who complete the iPad training program at the Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI). These virtual graduation ceremonies celebrate an enormous accomplishment for participants. Many of the learners lacked any prior experience with technology. By the end of the courses, they can freely use their iPad tablets with curiosity and confidence!
Here’s what some of our CEI senior learners had to say about their experience in the program:
- “I have a sister who has stage four cancer. Now I’ll be able to Zoom with her. I’m very happy about that. Because with the virus and all, you can’t go around her. That’s really difficult and hurtful. Now that I will be able to see her, it is wonderful.”
- “Before this, I was illiterate with computers. I looked at this thing and said, oh I can’t do this. I can’t do any of this stuff. Now look at me, I’m pushing buttons and actually making it work. That’s an accomplishment.”
- “The experience has been rewarding. I’m excited about being able to communicate with my family and also with the internet and with others around the world.”
COMMUNITY TECH NETWORK SPOTLIGHT
PARTNER: MOSAICA FAMILY APARTMENTS
In a new partnership with Lutheran Family Services, CTN is training low-income adults how to use the internet in everyday life. We recently wrapped up two cohorts, one in English and one in Spanish, with residents of the Mosaica Family Apartments. Check out how digital skills are making a difference for Mosaica learners.
VOLUNTEER: PHIL TSE
When Phil Tse retired from his tech career, he felt motivated to use his tech and bilingual skills to help others. Upon finding CTN’s flexible, remote volunteer opportunities, Phil was eager to begin his digital coaching lessons. Read how Phil empowers learners to utilize the internet in everyday life.
LEARNER: XIUZHEN XU
While many older adults feel a sense of loneliness in their later years, the Home Connect program has provided Mrs. Xu with the digital tools needed to remain active and connected. Follow along with Mrs. Xu’s journey learning to navigate the net.
CTN LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
Have you checked out our website recently? This month, CTN launched a new and improved site that better reflects our organization’s mission and goals. As we continue to evolve into a national organization, we are fine-tuning our brand and putting our best foot forward. Be sure to take a look around for new features, pages, and photos!
CTN IN THE NEWS
Charter Communications recently announced that CTN is one of 49 recipients to receive a Spectrum Digital Education Grant. This grant is a part of Charter’s $1 million investment in digital literacy and education. Read the full press release.
CTN is looking for personable, hard-working team players to join our growing organization. We are currently hiring for a bilingual digital literacy program manager and multiple part-time bilingual digital literacy instructors. Check out our careers page for job descriptions and future opportunities.