|Families Gain Power of the Internet |
Denver, Colorado—Fifteen families learned new skills and earned new computers with help from the Sister Mary Lucy Neighborhood Networks Center and its community partners. Through the Learn and Earn program of the Jared Polis Foundation and refurbished computers donated by Coors Brewing Company, a class of 12 Spanish- and 3 English-speaking students participated in twice weekly class sessions over an 8-week period to learn about the power of technology and how to incorporate it into the lives of their families. “The students were very enthusiastic about the program and we are currently planning a followup intermediate computer class,” states Laura Aranda, computer lab director.
Students learn the fundamentals of computer hardware and popular software packages during the class sessions. Starting with how to operate the computer, using the keyboard and mouse, navigating Microsoft Windows, and understanding Microsoft Office applications, students progress from a basic understanding to the proficiency required to teach other users, including family members. At the end of the program, a graduation ceremony celebrates each individual’s achievement with the awarding of certificates and a refurbished computer for their family. “The15 participants enrolled in the program expressed a strong desire to learn about the technology and were excited about joining the class to learn for themselves and their children,” according to Aranda.
The foundation was established by Jared Polis to “encourage people to be proactive by supporting and pursuing education and technology in Colorado communities.” The foundation has established and operates innovative teaching and technology resource programs throughout Colorado. “Our vision has grown to give confidence and inspire educators, involve parents and communities, and motivate students to succeed in today's rapidly changing world,” states the foundation’s Web site.
Learning does not end when the students graduate. Armed with the knowledge and skills to operate the computer, parents teach their children to use the software applications, how to safely browse the Internet, and how to use the hardware as a tool to help with homework. “Participants were very excited when learning how to browse the Internet. They found it a valuable resource to help their children with their homework,” confides Aranda. Access to and use of e-mail is a revolutionary tool for students. “Families now have the knowledge and capacity to communicate with friends and family without increasing their telephone bill,” adds Aranda. “This savings can be significant since many students have family in other parts of the country or the world.”
The center plans to build on this successful program in the near future with additional classes. “We are very thankful to the Jared Polis Foundation and Coors Brewing Company for their expertise and contribution of computers and software that helped us provide a quality program for our residents,” concludes Aranda.
For additional information about Neighborhood Networks in Colorado, contact Thomas Hagerty, HUD Neighborhood Networks Coordinator.
For additional information about the Sister Mary Lucy Neighborhood Networks Center contact Laura Aranda.
For additional information about the Learn and Earn program contact the Jared Polis Foundation.
|Center(s) Highlighted or Profiled:||Sister Mary Lucy Neighborhood Networks Center|
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Department of Housing and Urban
451 7th Street S.W.,
Washington, DC 20410
708-1112 TTY: (202)