We are proud to announce that long-time volunteer William Dean has joined the CTN staff part-time. If his name rings a bell, that’s because William was a recipient of the Digital Changemaker prize at the CTN Digital Leaders Awards earlier this year. Pictured here (from left to right) are Derek Toliver, Heather DeSmidt, William, and Denise Carrillo.
As CTN’s new Digital and Adult Literacy Program Coordinator, William will focus on language literacy (reading and writing) while providing one-on-one or small-group tutoring to help seniors access computer technology.
According to a study conducted in April 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults cannot read, and 21 percent of adults are literate only up to a grade 5 level. CTN recognizes that language literacy is a barrier to greater digital literacy, so William’s role is an important one.
William was the obvious choice for this position. Besides volunteering with CTN for the past year, William is a literacy tutor with Project Read, an adult literacy program at the San Francisco Public Library. His experience with readers and with new computer users will help CTN explore the relationship between these two forms of literacy, and we know that we’ll learn a lot from William about how to better serve the community.
William, who first wanted to be an educator in seventh grade, is excited about the new professional challenge and continuing to teach. He says: “As a senior myself, I hope to serve as a model to those seniors who fear, doubt, or just don’t know they have the ability to learn something new. By sharing my story about not being computer literate at an earlier time, I want to dispel the notion of ‘I can’t do that’ and ‘I don’t want to learn that.'”