Net Literacy's Seven Summer Programs Engage More Than 300 Students

David Johnson (right) teachers new volunteers
David Johnson (right) teachers new volunteers

Net Literacy’s seven summer programs impacted over 300 students. Student volunteers learned how to build websites; repurposed almost 1000 computers that were sent to schools and dozens of nonprofits; storyboarded, scripted, shot, and edited twenty financial literacy videos, taught Safe Connects Internet safety skills, learned group dynamics and team building skills; constructed business proposals using PowerPoint that included value propositions, P&L charts, and streaming video.

Thanks to our generous donors, that included Lilly Endowment, the Luminia Foundation for Education, Lilly & Company, Bright House Networks, the Techpoint Foundation, the Clowes Fund, Net Literacy student volunteers learned job skills, life skills, and made a difference to their communities.

June 22nd Washington DC Broadband Adoption Summit a Success!

Blair Levin Receives Net Literacy Hero Award

With nearly 150 attendees and a “dream team” of speakers from the FCC, nonprofits, broadband providers, and other government organizations, the Broadband Adoption Summit was a success and thoughtfully discussed barriers to and catalysts that will enhance broadband adoption. Above, Net Literacy’s Daniel Kent presents a Net Literacy Hero Award to Blare Levin, the FCC’s Executive Director responsible for crafting the National Broadband Plan for Congress. Highlights of the summit, co-sponsored by Net Literacy, the US Internet Industry Association, and Broadband for America, can be viewed by clicking on this link.

The Summit was webcasted by the US Telecom Association and was videotaped by Broadband For America. The five media articles that were written will help increase awareness to digital inclusion and the importance of increasing broadband adoption. Net Literacy and the USIIA will jointly co-author a series of white papers further detailing the issues discussed during this summit.

Speakers included the key architects of the National Broadband Plan, including Blair Levin (FCC Executive Director), Brian David (FCC Director of Broadband Adoption), John Horrigan (FCC Director of Consumer Research), and Karen Archer Perry (Advisor, Adoption and Use National Broadband Plan Team). Trade associations addressing the Summit included USIIA CEO David McClure, US Telecom CEO Walter McCormick, and Fiber to the Home Council CEO Joe Savage. Other speakers represented national companies, including Bright House Networks, Dell, Intel, and Cisco Systems, among others.

US Telecom Association to Webcast "Broadband Adoption Summit"

The US Telecom Association has decided to webcast the Broadband Adoption Summit because of the importance of this conference.

At 9:05 on June 22nd – visit and you can watch the Summit live as it takes place.

The Summit’s agenda is at

Net Literacy's Funders Double Their Financial Support in 2010

Intel Logo

Lumina Foundation For Education

Lilly Endowment

Eli Lilly and Company

While thousands of students have donated over 200,000 hours in service to their communities and increased computer access to over 150,000 individuals, we just could not be doing this without the financial support of more than a dozen corporate and foundation funders.

Since 2007, Intel, whose leadership serves on Net Literacy’s Board of Directors and financial support has helped us scale our programs. Intel has enabled our student volunteers to increase computer access to 10,000s of individuals, increase Internet safety awareness through the production of three Department of Education approved Internet safety videos, and increase financial literacy to middle school, high school, and college students through the IDOE approved Financial Connects portal.

The Lumina Foundation For Education repeated funding of our Computer Connects programs has provided computers to schools impacting thousands of students.

Lilly Endowment has funded Net Literacy programs since 2005, and has supported our Safe Connects, Financial Connects, and Computer Connects programs.

2010 marks the first year that the Eli Lilly Company has supported our Computer Connects program that teaches homeless students and students on Off Campus Instruction life skills and job skills.

Without your support and advocacy, we would be unable to increase digital inclusion. So in behalf of the thousands of Net Literacy student volunteers, thank you!


Daniel Kent
Student President

Federal Communications Commission Cites Net Literacy in National Digital Broadband Plan Presented to Congress

FCC's National Broadband Plan

Based upon a forty page response to the Request for Comments issued by the FCC regarding broadband adoption that I wrote in behalf of the Net Literacy student board, the FCC contacted me in January and I spent almost an hour talking with several members of the FCC’s National Digital Broadband Plan task force. The three most important recommendations that Net Literacy made were that

– a national Digital Literacy Corps be created to increase digital inclusion and broadband adoption at the community level (
– K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority receiving resources and subsidized computer hardware and broadband
– Executive Order 12999 be strengthen to give schools a “right of first refusal” on surplused Federal computers to increase the use of technology in the classrooms during a period where funding for education is being reduced across the country

Net Literacy’s student volunteers were gratified that the FCC recommended the creation of a Digital Literacy Corps and that K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority in the National Broadband Plan. Our response to the FCC included over 100 comments and recommendations, most of which were incorporated in the National Broadband Plan, because in part, the comment process was designed to validate FCC’s own assumptions through the use of public feedback to their proposals. Net Literacy was gratified to see that our new recommendation “that ENL population groups (English as a New Language) be recognized as a population group with low broadband adoption” was included in the Plan. Our request regarding Executive Order 12999 was not included, but I have met with Senators Lugar’s and Bayh’s to discuss how the inclusion of this in new legislation will impact student success and increase high school graduation rates.

The National Broadband Plan specifically cited our Senior Connects program that has increased computer access to over 40,000 Americans and our Community Connects program that has increased computer access to over 110,000 Americans in over 500 community centers, senior centers, preschools, faith-based organizations, schools, libraries, and other nonprofits.

No plan can be perfect in all aspects for every constituency when addressing a major challenge that America faces – but the FCC has done an outstanding job in reaching out to Americans to solicit feedback and comment; and thoughtfully created a road map that will ensure Americans receive the richness and benefits provided by broadband.

As a youth-founded all volunteer nonprofit whose outcomes cost about 10% as much as some other larger digital inclusion solution providers, we commend the FCC in providing a strong ROI on the taxpayer dollars invested in this project.

Respectfully submitted,

Daniel Kent

Broadband for America, the US Internet Industry Association, and Net Literacy to hold "A Roadmap to Broadband Adoption" Conference on June 22nd in Washington DC

Broadband Adoption Summit
Broadband Adoption Summit

All Day “Roadmap to Broadband Adoption” Conference to be held in Washington DC on June 22nd

Broadband for America, Net Literacy and USIIA invite you to join in a special conference to help bring the rest of America online through programs to stimulate broadband adoption.

Aimed at broadband providers, community service agencies, municipal managers, consultants, educators and economic development leaders, this conference is a roadmap to use of federal stimulus grants to build effective and sustainable community programs for broadband adoption and use among the one-third of Americans not currently online. For more information, contact USIIA at [email protected] or click here.

If you have applied for or received a broadband stimulus grant or loan, this is a must-attend event for your company!

Monday, June 21st

4:00 pm Joint meeting of the USIIA Board of Directors

5:30 pm Open Reception (Attendees and Speakers)

7:00 pm USIIA Board of Directions Dinner Invitation Only

Conference Agenda*

8:30 am Continental Breakfast


9:00 am Conference welcome by Dennis C. Hayes, Chairman, USIIA


9:05 am Introductory remarks by Harold Ford, Jr., Broadband For America Co-Chair


9:20am Introductory remarks by Don Kent, Net Literacy Chair


9:35am Keynote: A legislator’s view of the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act with respect to broadband adoption. What did Congress intend, and where do we go from here? Walter B. McCormick, Jr. (President & CEO of the US Telecom Association)


10:05 am Break


10:15 am “The Broadband Adoption Paradox” – An overview of the research indicating that broadband adoption rates remain a problem in the United States, and where efforts need to be made to correct this problem.

Panel Leader: John Horrigan, Consumer Research Director at the FCC (and formerly the Associate Director, Research, with the Pew Internet & American Life Project). Panelist: Rick Herrmann (Intel, Manager, US Public Sector Initiatives, State, Local, Education, and Advocacy) and Robert J Shapiro (Chairman of Sonecon).


11:00 am The Omnibus Broadband Initiative with Blair Levin. Now a Communications and Society Fellow at the Aspen Institute, Levin was formerly Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission, and will share his insights into the nation’s broadband plans, policies and needs.


11:45 pm Lunch on your own

11:45 pm Speakers Luncheon – By Invitation Only


1:00 pm Conference welcome by Daniel Kent, Founder and Student President of Net Literacy


1:10 pm “Where Will We Get The Computers?” A panel discussion of how to create and implement an effective program for computer re-tasking and distribution.

Panel Leader: David McClure (USIIA President). Panelists: Don Kent (Net Literacy Chair) and Kerry Murray (Dell’s Senior Council for Global Public Policy).


1:40 pm “Outline for Community Adoption Programs” An outline of a sustainable broadband adoption program, necessary programs at the federal, state and local levels.

Panel Leader: Rick Jones (Cisco Systems, Director, Strategic Relations, US Public Sector). Panelists: Brian David (Federal Communications Commission Adoption and Use Director) and Mamie Bittner (Institute of Museum and Library Services Deputy Director)


2:30 pm Break


2:45 pm “Community-Based Adoption Models” A more specific discussion of the models for community programs, including where to conduct them, who should be targeted and how to manage the programs within various county/municipal/township organizations.

Panel Leader: Karen Archer Perry (Federal Communications Commission National Broadband Taskforce ). Panelist: Emy Tseng (National Telecommunications and Information Administration Program Officer, BTOP) and Elisabeth Stock (Computers For Youth President)


3:30 pm “A Student Empowered Digital Literacy Corps” A discussion of the Net Literacy model for development of a corps of high-school and college student volunteers to implement the community-based training programs.

Speaker: Daniel Kent (Net Literacy Founder and Student President)


4:00 pm “Promoting Broadband Adoption” A panel discussion of how to better market the value proposition for broadband within communities.

Panel Leader: Marva Johnson (Bright House Networks Networks Corporate Vice President Technology Policy & Industry Affairs). Panelist: Joe Savage (President, Fiber-to-the-Home Council), Laurie Lipper (Children’s Partnership Co-Founder and Co-President) and Narvarrow Wright (President of Maximum Solutions)


5:00 pm Reception

* Note: Conference agenda is subject to change.
** Accepted pending Agency approval

The IDOE Helps Announce the State Farm YAB’s $98,000 Grant to Net Literacy

IDOE Helps Announce State Farm YAB's $98,000 Grant to Net Literacy
IDOE Helps Announce State Farm YAB's $98,000 Grant to Net Literacy

Click on the image above (or click here) to watch the video of State Farm Insurance’s check presentation ceremony at the Indiana Department of Education. On February 22, 2010, Dr. Schauna Findlay, the IDOE’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, helped by serving as MC at the presentation and explained the importance that the Indiana Department of Education places on financial literacy.

Student Vice President Will Petrovic said, “We sincerely appreciate the support of Dr. Findlay, and especially the support of Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett. We couldn’t be doing this without the members of the IDOE team that champion youths and financial literacy, including John Keller, Director of Learning Technologies, and Melissa Abriani, Division of College & Career Preparation.”

The video was taped by Net Literacy student volunteers from Thomas Carr Howe Community High School and edited by Will Petrovic. Phase I of the Financial Connects website, including the production of 20 videos with a financial literacy theme, were scripted and produced by 18 students representing six Indianapolis Public School high schools. Student Chief Technology Officer Brian Kelley and Student President Daniel Kent designed the functionality of and constructed the website. Lilly Endowment and Old National Bank funded Phase I of the Financial Connects program. Net Literacy plans to create a 30 minute video entitled “Financial Connects – the making of a youth empowered program” as this program is developed. Learn more about the IDOE’s Financial Literacy Standards by clicking here.

“The State Farm Youth Advisory Board brings youth empowerment around full circle,” said Student Chair David Johnson, a sophomore at Northwest High School. “Net Literacy was founded by middle school students and our board of directors is 50% comprised of high school and college student volunteers. State Farm has empowered a national Youth Advisory Board that is able to award $5,000,000 in grants to the over 1,000 nonprofits that apply for funding. While we received our grant only one month ago, this is a story about a student empowered State Farm Youth Advisory Board supporting a student empowered Net Literacy program. We’re grateful to State Farm and its Youth Advisory Board.”

The Clowes Fund Supports Net Literacy for a Third and Fourth Year

Clowes Fund
Clowes Fund

The Clowes Fund awarded Net Literacy $17,500 for 2010 and 2011 to enable Net Literacy’s students volunteers to provide computers that will impact thousands of youths. The Clowes Fund’s support has provided thousands of computers for dozens of nonprofits, classrooms, and computer labs. The Clowes Fund’s focus has been on Net Literacy’s Computer Connects program – a program that has efficiently repurposed more than 10,000 computers during the last few years. More about how the Clowes Fund is making a difference can be learned by clicking here.

Net Literacy’s more than 2,000 student volunteers are very grateful for the Clowes Fund’s continuing support, now totaling almost $50,000.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

Updated Senior Connects Website Launched Today!

Thanks to the technical expertise of Net Literacy’s Chief Technology Officer Brian Kelley, an updated and refreshed Senior Connects website was launched today!

While the new website contains a nostalgic look to the past and includes the 2005 American and Canadian Senior Connects Board of Advisors, it also has added the following:
• Streaming videos of a Net Literacy “student” who in her early 80’s, learned how to use a computer and broadband through the Senior Connects’ program in 2003, through a series of videos, she explains how this experience has changed and empowered her life.
• Updated computer, Internet, and Email training lesson plans – including some training programs that have been translated into Spanish and Russian.
• FAQ that answer the question – how do I start a Senior Connects program in my own community?
Learn more by visiting the Senior Connects website!

Net Literacy’s Senior Connects program was referenced in the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan submitted to Congress last week. Learn more about Net Literacy and how the Digital Literacy Corps can make a difference by clicking on the links.

Please contact [email protected] if you have questions.

One Story About How One Computer Made A Difference In The Life Of One Child

Net Literacy’s digital literacy corps has repurposed 10,000 computers during the last couple of years. We receive many notes of thanks from the organizations that receive the computers, and occasionally, it puts everything into perspective to understand how a computer can impact the life and success of a youth.

This email was sent by an elementary guidance counselor to a group of students that serve as Net Literacy volunteers and are working on a special initiative that obtains used computers from businesses, repurposes them, installs new software, and donates computers to schools.

Recently you worked on a computer that was to be given to a family in need.

Recently I was contacted by a mother who was in need.

She shared her story, and meanwhile, you worked away at a computer’s part, pieces, programs.

Her son, a fifth grader is teased a lot. He is a lot taller than the other boys and weighs a lot more. He has wildly curly hair, and even though he is really smart, when he says things out loud sometimes his voice sounds kinda gurgled, maybe it’s his nerves. His parents are divorced and it is not a pretty one. They fight-a lot! Not very civil, so sharing something is out of the question (like a computer). He also receives free or reduced lunch, which means money is extremely limited for his family. If he receives a simple assignment like, “tonight, go on the class website and get on spelling city. Print off at least one of the word scrabbles to share with your group tomorrow,” his mind has to go in over drive. Whose house am I at? If I am at Mom’s, there’s no computer, let alone internet, so we will have to go the library. Depending on what time Mom gets home from work and they have dinner and clean up, he then has to get the family to drive him to library and pay to have a page printed off. (that’s if there is even time left in the night to get there after the evening stuff required!) His mom called me to see if I knew of any way I could help. How many people need help like that?! Well, through the school district, I found Net Literacy, and learned that our high school had a Net Literacy chapter, and that’s how I found all of you!! And then, the 2 stories became one! and the people making this computer were able to create a huuuuuge relief for one kid who just wants to be as regular as possible. On his behalf, THANK YOU for taking your time to lovingly put this thing together. His eyes were like saucers!!

The school counselor