|Neighborhood Networks Centers Recognized for Bridging the Digital Divide|
Through a creative national public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Technology for All, 33 Neighborhood Networks centers were recognized this month for their work in providing digital opportunity to low- and moderate-income families.
"These Technology for All awards acknowledge the innovative, local efforts of centers that bring technology and opportunity to the entire community," said Charles Famuliner, Neighborhood Networks National Field Director. "It's great to see local centers gain recognition for their important role in helping to level the playing field for those who might not ordinarily have access to digital technology," he added.
The centers were recipients of Technology for All's 2000 Bridging the Digital Divide awards. Technology for All is a national nonprofit that shares Neighborhood Networks' mission to bring digital opportunity to underserved communities. Technology for All and Enron is partnering with HUD to provide 100 Neighborhood Networks centers with broadband Internet access and online educational content.
Technology for All provides educational, economic and personal opportunities to individuals in underserved communities by providing access to computer technology. The organization maintains a national online resource of licensed software applications and educational content that is now shared with Neighborhood Networks community technology centers.
"The Bridging the Digital Divide awards are an important vehicle for raising public awareness about digital disparity," said William Reed, Technology for All President and CEO. "The partnership is a creative way to help eliminate that disparity by bringing the resources of different organizations to the table and share them so that everybody benefits."
The Neighborhood Networks award recipients were selected for meeting programmatic goals, partnership building, fostering resident involvement and demonstrating strong internal leadership.
Eight Neighborhood Networks Centers received the highest award, the Platinum Level. They include:
Durango Housing Neighborhood Networks Center Durango, CO
Holyoke Neighborhood Networks Center Holyoke, MA
Nathan Nagler Computer Learning Center Flushing, NY
Neighborhood Networks Center at F.I.G.H.T. Village Rochester, NY
Northwest Tower Neighborhood Networks Center Chicago, IL
Pensacola Village Neighborhood Networks Center Pensacola, FL
St. Peter Manor Computer Learning Center Memphis, TN
Town Park Plaza North Neighborhood Networks Center Miami, FL
The following 17 earned the Gold Level which include:
Atlantic Villas Computer Learning Center Atlantic City, NJ
Chester Apartments Neighborhood Networks Center Chester, PA
College Arms Neighborhood Networks Center Palatka, FL
Freedom Place Education Enhancement Center Detroit, MI
Grier Park and Hillcrest Apartments Neighborhood Networks Center Charlotte, NC
Hillview Village Campus of Opportunity Neighborhood Networks Center Memphis, TN
Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly Community Center Brighton, MA
La Cieba Neighborhood Networks Center Puerto Rico
Madison Park Village Computer Learning Center Roxbury, MA
Northland Village Apartments Computer Learning Center Dayton, OH
Oakdale Neighborhood Networks Center DeFuniak Springs, FL
Pinewood Park Learning Center Lufkin, TX
Plaza Neighborhood Networks Computer Learning Center Stockton, CA
Riverview Towers II Paterson, NJ
Spartenburg Terrace Resource Center Spartanburg, SC
Summit Ridge Family Development Center Birmingham, AL
Valley Neighborhood Center Las Cruces, NM
The remaining eight Neighborhood Networks Centers were presented with Silver Level awards. They are:
Cliffside Community Center Cliffside, KY
Glenarden Campus of Opportunity Neighborhood Networks Learning Center Lanham, MD
Holly Bush Gardens Glassboro, NJ
Northport Apartments Madison, WI
Parker Heights Neighborhood Networks Community Center Charlotte, NC
Pelham Apartments Computer Center Framingham, MA
Southview Apartments Neighborhood Networks Computer Learning Center Aberdeen, MS
Starrett Information Technology Education Center Brooklyn, NY
The top-tier winners were:
Durango Housing Neighborhood Networks Center
Durango, CO - - The Durango Housing Neighborhood Networks Center, located in a new building with 12 Internet connected computers, was recognized for its innovative community garden program, which involves children planting and harvesting flowers and vegetables. The center also offers computer classes every month that are open to the residents and the community. Volunteers tutor elementary, middle and high school students.
Nathan I. Nagler Computer Learning Center
Flushing, NY - - This center provides such classes as English as a Second Language and computer technology, including Internet and basic software training. High school-age volunteers teach senior citizens how to use computers and the Internet.
Neighborhood Networks Center at F.I.G.H.T. Village
Rochester, NY - - This center features two award-winning programs: an introduction to computers for families and General Equivalency Diploma courses. It serves a wide range of residents, including working adults who want to upgrade their skills and improve their employment opportunities, and retired seniors who understand the importance of computers and the Internet.
Northwest Tower Computer Learning Center
Chicago, IL - - This center provides skill building classes in literacy, business applications, tutoring and basic DOS commands. One 73-year-old grandmother and 15 other residents earned a Certificate of Achievement in computer literacy.
Pensacola Village Neighborhood Networks Center,
Pensacola, FL - - This center opened in March 1997 and offers basic adult education through GED preparation and an after-school study club with 35-45 children participating three afternoons a week. Also, it has strong senior citizen involvement. The center has partnered with Project Jump Start which provides job skill preparation, job searching help and transportation to interviews.
St. Peter Manor Computer Learning Center
Memphis, TN - - This center connect seniors to the Internet. More than 100 seniors graduate from its programs each year. Seniors in the advanced class create their own Web pages. In addition, the seniors use their creativity to teach school-age children. In collaboration with the local elementary school, special education classes are forming.
Town Park Plaza North Neighborhood Networks Center
Miami, FL - - This center was recognized for having more than 120 residents enroll in programs and it is the first center in the Miami-Dade Empowerment Zone. Youth partnerships created 30 baskets for patients at the Jackson Memorial Hospital to celebrate Make a Difference Day. Also, the center formed a partnership with Miami-Dade public schools to offer GED courses online and staffing for the career development lab.
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