Net Literacy Repurposes 5242 Computers in 2011

In 2011, Net Literacy repurposed 5,242 computers – a new world record! Through our Computer Connects program, computers are repurposed at the schools by student volunteers. Computers are donated to schools, libraries, community centers, and other nonprofits – no individual nor organization that receives computers pays for any of Net Literacy’s services. Thanks to generous grantors and corporations together with the hard work of more than 3500 student volunteers, Net Literacy provides all of its services at no cost. Since 2003, Net Literacy has repurposed more than 20,000 computers. During the last four years alone, more than 15,000 computers have been donated.

2011 – 5,242
2010 – 2,976
2009 – 4,508
2008 – 3,057

For additional information, please contact [email protected]

At Board meetings, students discuss their computer repurposing progress

Verizon Foundation Funds Internet Safety Initiative

The Verizon Foundation has supported Net Literacy programs to the tune of $100,000s since 2006. In the waning days of 2011, the Verizon Foundation decided to provide Net Literacy an additional $20,000 to create dozens of 2-3 minute Internet safety videos where teens will use “straight talk” to discuss how to navigate the Internet safety and have fun.

Additional details are forthcoming.

For more information, contact Dan at [email protected]

Stanford Social Innovation Review – Will the FCC’s Digital Literacy Corps become a 21st Century Peace Corps? Maybe.

The Digital Literacy Corps has the potential to significantly impact the digital exclusion environment in the United States, just as the Peace Corps has made lasting change around the world.  In this article, Net Literacy recommends four ideas that should be prioritized when rolling out the Digital Literacy Corps.

The Huffington Post – National Digital Literacy Corps

Net Literacy and one other organization are credited for submitting the idea to the FCC that was incorporated into the National Broadband Plan recommending the creation of the Digital Literacy Corps.  With the announcement of the Connect too Compete initiative in October, the Digital Literacy Corps will soon come into focus.  In this article, Net Literacy reiterates some of the most important aspects that should be considered when developing this Corps.





The Best Buy Children’s Foundation and Net Literacy Work Together to Increase Digital Inclusion

Through a partnership between the Best Buy Children’s Foundation and Net Literacy, more than $30,000 in computers will be donated to community organizations to establish computer labs, impacting up to 1,500 Indianapolis youths. Computers will be refurbished by Net Literacy’s Digital Literacy Corps of student volunteers. Students will learn job skills, life skills, and engage in service learning as they refurbish the computers.

“Best Buy is a socially responsible that believes in giving back to others,” says Executive Director Daniel Kent. “The Best Buy Children’s Foundation’s funding enables us to expand the number of computer labs throughout Indianapolis, adding to the more than 350 partner nonprofit locations and organizations that have received donations in Indianapolis. These computer labs allow students to complete their homework and community members to search for jobs, information, and resources. Best Buy is a model corporate citizen – we couldn’t be doing this without their advocacy and support.”

Net Literacy was founded in 2003 by middle school students. The board of directors of this all-volunteer nonprofit is 50% comprised of high school students. In addition to equipping computer labs in 350 Indianapolis locations, more than 9,500 computers have been donated the families of children without a computer at home working through Indianapolis schools. In 2010, Net Literacy’s programs were cited by the FCC in the National Broadband Plan presented to Congress. In October 2011, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for a Digital Literacy Corps, an initiative recommend by Net Literacy.

For more information about Net Literacy or the Digital Literacy Corps, visit or

For more information about the Best Buy Children’s Foundation, visit

Donated Computers to Boost Job Training Efforts

October 28th, 2011

By the Lake Area United Way

The Lake Area United Way, working in partnership with Net Literacy and the Indiana Association of United Ways, recently distributed 156 updated computers to 13 community organizations. The computers will be used primarily in job training and computer lab settings so clients can increase their literacy skills.

“Most are reconditioned Dell computers upgraded with added speed, memory and Windows 7,” said Dave Sikes, Lake Area United Way’s Director of Allocations. “The donated computers will help students, adults and seniors expand their computer, communications and literacy skills.”

The donations were made possible by Net Literacy which refurbishes old computers and redistributes them – all with the help of middle and high school student volunteers. Founded in 2003 by Daniel Kent, then a 14-year old 8th grade computer whiz-kid from Carmel, Indiana, Net Literacy is a student-run organization seeking to bridge the digital divide for underprivileged and under-served populations.

Based in Indianapolis, Net Literacy has provided computer access to more than 150,000 Hoosiers in 20 counties, and chapters are up and running in three other Midwest states. Nearly 13,000 computers have been donated to schools, libraries, and other nonprofits in 17 counties in Indiana. Over 2,000 students have given more than 200,000 hours of voluntary service to their communities.

“Lake Area United Way was originally allotted 100 computers from Net Literacy, but we had requests for 156. We were going to have to pare the list down, but Dan Kent found 56 more computers so all the local agencies that requested computers got them,” explained Sikes.

“The primary goal of the computers is to increase literacy – not only in children, but adults and seniors as well. We hope the agencies will use them to expand programs like English as a Second Language classes, computer literacy, financial literacy and many other creative ways,” he added.

The recipient agencies were: Boy Scouts of America, Calumet Council; Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana; Catholic Charities; Crisis Center; Gary Life Education Initiative; Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana; Greater Works; North Township Trustee’s Office; The Salvation Army; Sojourner Truth House; Urban League of Northwest Indiana; United Neighborhood Organization; and YWCA of Northwest Indiana.

Gloria Gregory, site director of United Neighborhood Organization’s Martin Luther King Center in East Chicago, said the donated computers will be used to re-open its computer lab which has been shuttered because all their existing computers were either outdated or inoperable.

“Most of our clients are poor and cannot afford computers,” Gregory said. “These computers will be used by the public seeking employment, students doing their homework, training classes for the community, and reading and literacy programs for the students we serve.”

Denise Brown, the executive director of the YWCA of Northwest Indiana, says the donated computers will be used in the agency’s after-school program which helps children and youth age 5 to 18 years of age with homework assistance and tutoring purposes.

“Our computer lab features a highly structured educational program called ‘PLATEO’. We’ve seen remarkable student success in math and reading abilities and these computers will allow us to help even more students,” she explained.

Vanessa Allen, executive director of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, said the units will assist some 15,000 agency clients in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties with job searches, updating resumes, and applying for college admission, student scholarships, and financial aid.

“Lake Area United Way is always looking for ways to connect area partners with resources to expand their ability to better serve the residents of our community,” said Sikes. “This is a great partnership that helps us achieve community impact in three critical areas: education, income and health.”

In addition to distributing computers to Lake Area United Way, Net Literacy also donated computers to the United Ways in Porter and LaPorte counties.

Note from Dan Kent: read a kind thank you letter from the Boys and Girls Club, one of the organizations that we helped with a donation of 34 computers by clicking Thank You Letter Net Literacy B and G Clubs.

Huffington Post Impact: The National Digital Literacy Corps

One hundred million Americans do not have high speed Internet at home, and 18 million Americans live in areas with little or no broadband infrastructure. Most Americans who are offline have the ability to connect to broadband; but they choose not to do so.

Seniors, minorities, low-income and rural Americans remain disproportionately offline. The digital divide is the widest for under-served groups that have the fewest resources and opportunities to become digitally literate.

Coming Soon: a National Digital Literacy Corps. On October 12, 2011, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski first announced Connect to Compete, a national program to promote broadband adoption and digital literacy. It’s a big step in the right direction. The Chairman then continued: “building on a big idea developed in the National Broadband Plan, we’re proposing to work with America’s schools and public libraries to launch a Digital Literacy Corps to help promote and teach digital literacy.”

Our Beginning. In 2003, a group of middle school students formed a Digital Literacy Corps of student volunteers called “Senior Connects.” In this program, teens helped senior citizens cross the digital divide by teaching computer and Internet skills as these same students crossed the intergenerational divide. The scope of the nonprofit was expanded the next year to include low-income, minorities, and rural Americans and renamed Net Literacy. Since then, 3,500 students have donated 20,000 computers to schools and nonprofits and increased computer access to 170,000 underserved Americans.

One Reason It’s Coming Soon. In April 2009, the U.S. Internet Industry Association and Net Literacy co-authored a whitepaper calling for a Student Net Literacy Corps, which was filed with the FCC. Later that year, Net Literacy filed comments to the FCC calling for a “digital literacy corps of student volunteers.” The filings sparked a call from the FCC to learn more, and the National Broadband Plan cited and credited Net Literacy for several of its initiatives, including the call for a “Digital Literacy Corps.”

Creating a Digital Ecosystem in a Tough Economy. Net Literacy accomplishes its goal of maintaining a Digital Literacy Corps with minimal resources — with an annual budget in the tens of thousands, not the millions. All digital divide programs are different — and inspired by a public library’s digital outreach program, Net Literacy’s secret to success is a model that taps into the power of America’s 30,000,000 high school and college students, making use of an unlimited source of Digital Literacy Corps volunteers.

We also have great corporate and foundation partners (check out our website to learn more). Some digital literacy programs can provide everything for free; we ask for our nonprofit partners to put some of their own skin into the game and provide the rest. We are not the largest program but we’re strategic. Net Literacy is the only program with a regional reach, allowing students to have refurbished and donated computers so that hundreds of computer labs could be built or expanded in both urban and rural communities.

Our Chapters are in the Schools! As students do the volunteering, they learn job skills, life skills, and serve their own communities. Chairman Genachowski said that a computer in a student’s home increases their chances of graduating high school by 7 percent; and Net Literacy’s chapters in schools have helped donate 9,000 computers to families in a school district where 83 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch programs. This type of local community initiative has brought together schools and nonprofits with a shared mission to help their constituents by reducing the digital divide.

A national Digital Literacy Corps is coming soon! Net Literacy is a Digital Literacy Corps that has enabled 3,500 student volunteers to make a difference. Our team has shown that we students are not tomorrow’s leaders; we are today’s leaders and can be part of the solution.

It is our hope that the Federal Communications Commission will recognize the value of our experience and leadership, and permit Net Literacy to be a part of the soon-to-be Digital Literacy Corps.

View the article at Huff Post by clicking HERE

Marvin Bailey Proclaimed a Net Literacy Hero by Student Board

Marvin Bailey Named Net Literacy Hero By Student Board
Marvin Bailey Named Net Literacy Hero By Student Board

Net Literacy Vice Chairman Marvin Bailey was proclaimed a “Net Literacy Hero” by the nonprofit’s student board of directors. In 2005, Marvin Bailey was invited to serve as one of the first adult board members and help mentor the fledgling organization. Net Literacy is a digital inclusion nonprofit founded in 2003 by middle school students and whose board is 50% comprised of students. Immediately following Marvin Bailey’s election to the board of directors, the students increased the scope of the nonprofit and changed the name to Net Literacy, an organization that has now donated more than 20,000 computers, increased computer access to over 170,000 Hoosiers, and whose programs have been endorsed by two American Presidents. Last year, the FCC cited several of Net Literacy programs in the National Broadband Plan presented to Congress and this year, FCC Chairman Genachowski announced plans to launch a “digital literacy corps,” a suggested made by and credited to Net Literacy students in the National Broadband Plan.

“Mr. Bailey,” said Net Literacy Student Chair and high school senior David Johnson, “is an advocate for youth empowerment and students maintaining ownership and responsibility for our all-volunteer nonprofit. As the only adult board member with nonprofit experience, he is our visionary and helped us understand how to mature and scale our organization.” Marvin Bailey currently serves as the Chairman of the TechPoint Foundation for Youth and was CEO of an education and technology training nonprofit for many years. “Mr. Bailey supported the concept of a youth-empower technology-oriented service learning nonprofit and as our Vice Chairman, is our coach, mentor, and cheerleader,” Johnson continued.

Recently, Marvin Bailey joined Harrison College as the President of its Northwest Campus. “Because Mr. Bailey had always encouraged us teens to graduate from high school and attend college,” Johnson continued, “one of his first actions at Harrison was to provide all student volunteers a Harrison college scholarship.” Marvin Bailey also facilitated Harrison donating equipment to Net Literacy enabling us to build more than a dozen computer labs in churches and community centers, and in the works is a program where Harrison students will refurbish computers to assist Net Literacy with additional capacity to donate computers to schools and nonprofits.

For more information about Net Literacy, visit or contact Daniel Kent at 317-809-2568 or at [email protected]

FCC Chairman Genachowski Endorses a “Digital Literacy Corps!”

FCC Chairman Genachowski endorses a “Digital Literacy Corps!”

Chairman Genachowski spoke at a press conference on October 12, 2011 about the importance of broadband adoption.

Said Chairman Genachowski, “The goal of deploying broadband networks to every American is vital. So is empowering every American who has access to broadband to adopt it. Right now, 100 million Americans – including the 18 million Americans I mentioned – aren’t adopting high-speed Internet at home. That’s one-third of our population – a 67 percent adoption rate. Compare that to South Korea and Singapore where adoption rates top 90 percent.”

And building on a big idea developed in the National Broadband Plan, we’re proposing to work with America’s schools and public libraries to launch a Digital Literacy Corps to help promote and teach digital literacy. Digital literacy refers to the basic skills necessary to seize the opportunities of broadband Internet – how to use a computer, navigate the web, or take actions like posting a resume or processing a basic Internet transaction.”

As the FCC requested industry input when developing the National Broadband Plan, one of the first filings to the FCC was jointly written by USIIA President and CEO David McClure and Net Literacy’s Daniel Kent. It emphasized that America had every much of a broadband adoption problem as it did a lack of broadband infrastructure problem, and recommended the FCC consider the Net Literacy model of student volunteers.

Later in a second filing to the FCC, Net Literacy again recommended that a Digital Literacy Corps of student volunteers be created based upon Net Literacy’s success, and the FCC included this concept citing Net Literacy in the National Broadband Plan presented to Congress.

Said Daniel Kent, Executive Director of Net Literacy, “we believe that students and libraries working together is a step forward to reducing the digital divide. Net Literacy’s first support which included curriculum and computers was donated by the Carmel Clay Public Library. We are grateful for their continued support and pleased that the model we proposed to the FCC is being considered on a national basis.”

To view the Digital Literacy Corps website, click on the link below:

Digital Literacy Corps Website
Digital Literacy Corps Website