Net Literacy’s Student Volunteers Are Empowered by Our Partnerships – Thank You TechPoint Foundation
TechPoint Foundation is a social venture capital organization with the mission to assist Indiana’s at-risk youth develop the 21st Century skills needed for success in a global, information economy.
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The Techpoint Foundation accomplishes its mission thru investments in promising organizations throughout Indiana. Their goal is to discover those organizations that have the potential for high impact in the community, and then mobilize resources to help them build the internal capacity to achieve it.
New Tech High at Arsenal Tech Discusses Programs Funded in Part by the Techpoint Foundation:
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TC Howe Community High School Discusses Programs Funded by the Techpoint Foundation:
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Thank you Techpoint Foundation!
This includes multi-year financial support, in addition to professional expertise, advice and other in-kind services recruited from members of the technology community.
Net Literacy was founded by a middle school student in 2003 and our board of directors is comprised 50% of students. We are an all-volunteer nonprofit and have ownership in Net Literacy because we are the social activists and instruments of change. At Net Literacy, we are not tomorrow’s leaders, we today’s leaders. Net Literacy works to support the Techpoint Foundation’s mission by:
- Donating thousands of computers for the families of students on free or assisted lunch programs that don’t have a computer at their home. Students with a computer in their home are 6-8% more likely to graduate from high school, and high school graduation is a required step towards preparing students for post-secondary school education.
- Creating Financial Connects, one of Net Literacy’s five core programs that teach students financial literacy and provide education and access to resources college scholarship, grant, and loan information.
- Teaching students life skills, job skills, and providing them an opportunity to serve their community.
- Donating thousands of computers to schools each year to increase technology in the classrooms and construct new computer labs which helps increase education completion rates and educational productivity.
The Techpoint Foundation worked with Net Literacy providing (indirectly) us our first grant (when we were still called Senior Connects) This summer, the Techpoint Foundation worked together with Net Literacy in combination with Lilly Endowment, The Lumina Foundation for Education, Indianapolis Public Schools, the Lilly & Company to leverage their foundation’s contributions with other community support. Through different grant process but with a similar objective, in 2010, other organizations ranging from Bright House Networks, Intel, the Hoover Family Foundation, the Clowes Fund, the Verizon Foundation, State Farm, and America’s Promise also provided financial support for this student success focused initiative. Net Literacy is a frugal and responsible steward of the Techpoint Foundation’s funding. At Net Literacy, there is no paid staff and our chapters are grounded in the schools. Net Literacy’s mission is to (a) increase computer access, (b) computer and Internet literacy, (c) Internet safety and financial literacy awareness, while teaching students (d) life skills, (e) job skills, and (f) providing them an opportunity to serve our community.
Last summer, Net Literacy conducted seven summer programs which ranged from teaching elementary school students about business entrepreneurialism, Internet safety, producing financial literacy videos, teaching group dynamics and leadership skills, and repurposing over 800 computers. This Techpoint Foundation’s grant focused on increasing the availability of technology in Indianapolis. During this summer program, student volunteers were supervised by high school faculty, learned how to load software onto computers using the Net Literacy methodology, QA computers, image computers, and build a website. Students also learned basic hardware troubleshooting tactics, opening up computers to replace power supplies, RAM, motherboards, and other components. Working in teams and peer-to-peer teaching helped prepare students socially for education beyond high school.
The Off Campus Instruction – Techpoint Foundation grant was one of four $1,000 grants provided to Net Literacy chapters. The Techpoint Foundation also provided twenty Net Literacy chapter’s mini-grants, enabling students to learn how to establish goals, create budgets, and measure outcomes.
Where did the many hundreds of computers that the Techpoint Foundation’s generous grant go? Off Campus Instruction middle and high schools were the beneficiaries of these repurposed and new QA-ed computers to provide an online campus for students. Many computers received a “second life,” they are helping students succeed at school, and they were not sold for scrap or dumped in a landfill.
How much did it cost to teach students job skills, life skills, and provide them summer work where they could serve their community? How much did it cost to procure hundreds of computers, transport them to various schools where student volunteers could repurpose them, and pay core city student volunteers a stipend so they could buy lunch and arrange for transportation from their homes to the schools? In Central Indiana, the total cost equates to $14.45 per repurposed computer.
Each computer placed in a classroom or used to build a computer lab may be used by dozens and dozens of students each week. And every computer sent to the family of children on free or assisted lunch programs typically increases access to over three children and at least one adult parent. Loaded with Windows XP Pro, antivirus software, and applications enabling students to complete homework, write papers, give PowerPoint presentations at school, and create databases, these computers make students more competitive in class and able to compete for jobs and in college.
Our summer program partners enabled student volunteers to repurpose more than 800 computers that were donated to schools during this two month summer program. Working together with other grantors, corporations, and nonprofits, this combined summer initiative created over $200,000 in value to eight schools. The Techpoint Foundation is making a difference in Indianapolis by reducing increasing student success. This is good for our community, for our students, for our students’ future.
While thousands of computers are donated to schools each year, our computers also are donated to hundreds of community centers, public libraries, faith based organizations, homeless shelters, HUD and Section 8 apartments, libraries, and pre-schools. This helps support the Techpoint Foundation mission by making computers more accessible to students without a computer at their home which enables them to practice their 21st Century skills.
Every day, the world is becoming more complex and increasingly technology oriented – and those individuals that don’t have access to computers find themselves increasingly disadvantaged – at school, at work, and in life. The student volunteers that comprise 50% of the Board of Directors and that perform all of the volunteer service believe that those individuals that are not computer literate may find themselves members of an underclass, cut off from some important sources of knowledge and sometimes excluded from all of the riches of living in a just and equitable society. In the 21st century, those that are not computer literate will have all of the stigmas and disadvantages of those that were illiterate in the 20th century. Those individuals that are not computer literate will be at a competitive disadvantage in life, their creativity stymied and their opportunities limited. Thank you, Techpoint Foundation, for providing Net Literacy four grants!