Governor Daniels Declares March 1st “Net Literacy & Digital Literacy Day for the State of Indiana”

Sometimes, a proclamation is worth 1000 words….

Governor Daniels Proclaims 'Net Literacy & Digital Literacy Day for the State of Indiana'
Governor Daniels Proclaims 'Net Literacy & Digital Literacy Day for the State of Indiana'

Bright House Networks Supports Net Literacy for an Eighth Year

Bright House Networks
Bright House Networks

Net Literacy is grateful that Bright House Networks took a chance on a group of middle school students that in 2004, wanted to reduce the digital divide and increase Internet safety awareness. Since then, Bright House Networks and Net Literacy have partnered together, donating more than 5,000 computers to schools and nonprofits. Bright House Networks has also supported Net Literacy’s student volunteers helping them to produce Internet safety PSAs and has carried them on their networks.

Listen to Bright House Networks’ Brooke Krodel explain why Bright House Networks has helped Net Literacy’s students for so many years, by clicking on the logo below.

WHJE Radio

Thank you Bright House Networks, for giving back to the community that you serve and making a difference to so many. To watch a video of the City of Indianapolis proclaiming Bright House Networks and the Techpoint Foundation Day, click on this link.

Respectfully,

Daniel Kent
Student President

Net Literacy Presents at the North Dakota Association of Telecommunication Cooperatives’ 2010 Annual Meeting

NDATC

Net Literacy was invited to address 150 members of the North Dakota Association of Telecommunication Cooperatives’ annual meeting in December, 2010. The NDATC serves 158,000 customers and supports digital inclusion and digital literacy as a matter of good public policy, keeping rural America vital, and enriching the lives of thousands of North Dakota residents. Net Literacy makes its content available to all state associations that are members of the USIIA.

For additional information, contact [email protected]

Safe Connects Internet Safety Training Teaches 12,000 High School Students

Safe Connects Training
Safe Connects Training

Watch the 30 minute Internet safety training video created by Net Literacy student volunteers that’s being used by Indianapolis Public Schools to teach each of the 12,000 high school students receiving netbooks Internet safety. Later during the 2010-2011 school year, Safe Connects training will be taught by IPS high school students to an additional 5,000 3rd graders and 6th graders in a series of school presentations by high school Net Literacy student volunteers to their feeder elementary schools. Other school districts and nonprofits across the country also use Safe Connects Internet safety training materials. Watch the video by clicking on the image above or this link.

Students comprised 50% of Net Literacy Board of Directors, and student board members from T. C. Howe and New Tech High at Arsenal Tech serve as hosts, and the Public Service Announcements (PSAs) include student volunteers from Decatur Central School of IDEAS, Carmel High School, T.C. Howe, and New Tech High at Arsenal Tech.

Safe Connects is a program where students talk to other students about Internet safety in students’ own words. All of the content was written by student volunteers and reviewed by principals, parents, PTAs, and the the Indiana Department of Education. Net Literacy student volunteers also scripted and stared in the PSAs. However, Net Literacy is responsible for all content and materials.

In 2009, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Resolution 95 – which encouraged all Indiana Public, Education, and Government Channel to carry Net Literacy’s Safe Connects programing and other Internet safety content.

100,000s of individuals have viewed Net Literacy PSAs on Bright House Networks cable systems and broadcast stations. Bright House Networks helped fund and has provided Net Literacy student volunteers public service announcement avails so that we can get the word out about Internet safety. Thanks Bright House Networks!

For more information, contact [email protected]

Techpoint Foundation Increases Funding to Net Literacy by 50%

Techpoint Foundation
Techpoint Foundation

The Techpoint Foundation was instrumental in the creation of Net Literacy, providing Net Literacy its first funding by matching a grant from Bright House Networks in 2004. Since then, the Techpoint Foundation has continued to support Net Literacy by also providing mentoring, guidance, and advocacy. In 2005, Techpoint Foundation Vice Chair Marv Bailey joined the Net Literacy Board of Directors and in 2009, Techpoint Foundation Board member Damon Richards joined the Net Literacy Board of Directors.

In 2009, Net Literacy’s Student Executive Committee (Will Petrovic, Brian Kelley, and Daniel Kent) submitted an $8,000 grant request which supported 20 of Net Literacy chapters’ volunteering efforts. The chapters also competed for four $1,000 grants and the winning schools’ programs ranged from conducting summer camps that repurposed hundreds of computers and constructed a website, to teaching hundreds of elementary school students Internet safety skills. The Student Executive Committee was also involved in the selection and awarding of the grants to the chapters.

In 2010, Net Literacy’s Student Executive Committee requested last year’s combination of chapter mini-grants and $1000 grants be continued, and also applied for an additional $4,000 to help expand the use of technology to youth-oriented nonprofits in rural Indiana interested in building or expanding computer labs, for a $12,000 grant request.

The additional $4,000 will enable Net Literacy to continue its program of increasing computer access throughout the State, as requested by Net Literacy Honorary Board member Lt. Governor Skillman in 2009. Working with the Indiana Association of United Ways, Net Literacy has distributed 500 computers to 17 United Ways serving 85 agencies to date in 2010 – and the Techpoint Foundation’s additional funding, together with funding from Intel, will enable the program to expand into more than a dozen new counties during the 2010-2011 school year.

Please contact [email protected] for additional information.

Digital Literacy Endorsed by the I-Alliance

i-alliance

Net Literacy presented its new Digital Literacy “best practices” website at South Africa’s iWeek Conference. The “best practices” website that focuses on digital inclusion and digital literacy was acclaimed by Internet Service Provider associations from India to South Africa; and they asked to become Digital Literacy “best practices” partners. Meanwhile in America, the Wireless Communications Association International joined a growing number of Digital Literacy partners ranging from Intel to the US Internet Industry Association to Internet Industry Association, in Australia.

Also, Net Literacy met with the International Internet Industry Alliance and the Alliance decided to include digital inclusion and digital literacy as one of their five top priorities for the sharing of information so that digital literacy and digital inclusion can be facilitated. Digital Literacy’s website shares international digital inclusion and digital literacy “best practices” and helps the Alliance achieve their goals. Net Literacy was honored by being invited to join the Alliance. The Alliance is comprised of ISP Association that represent over 200,000 Internet-related organizations in five continents.

For more information, contact [email protected]

net_lite(R)_jpg

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.

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 http://www.nextgenweb.org and you can watch the Summit live as it takes place.

The Summit’s agenda is at http://www.netliteracyalliance.org/blog

Net Literacy Lobbies the Hill and Addresses Afterschool Alliance Rally in DC

David in DC

By David Johnson, Student Chair, together with the Student Executive Committee

I had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C for the Afterschool for All Challenge as the Student Chair of Net Literacy, an afterschool nonprofit where we have increased computer access to over 150,000 Americans. I’m proud that Net Literacy was established by middle school students and high students comprised 50% of our board of directors.

In addition to fellow other nonprofits, our delegation included David Klinkose (President of the Afterschool Coalition of Indianapolis) and Debbie Zipes (Executive Director of the Indiana Afterschool Alliance). Susan Rohwer from the National After School Alliance helped coordinate everything and made certain that our trip was productive by helping maximize the number of Congressional staffers that we visited.

This was my second time in Washington D.C. While I had been part of the Net Literacy team of students serving as the Youth Voice for America’s Promise’s Grad Nation Summit last year, this was no less thrilling. As a 15 year old sophomore that serves as Net Literacy’s Student Chair, I am learning why the past Net Literacy Student Chairs believed that it was important for nonprofit organizations to be engaged at both a local and national level.

While I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with outstanding youths that represented an extraordinary mix of afterschool activity programs from across our country and have read their blogs on this site, I want to focus my blog on what I believe was the most significant component of our trip for me – getting the word out to our Congressmen and Senators about how important funding afterschool programs are to the millions of students that participate in these programs, and the 13 million students that would participate if funding permitted new programs to be established or existing programs to be expanded.
I talked with staffers from Indiana’s Congressman Carson, Senator Bayh, and Senator Lugar. It was great to meet with them – they understand the importance of afterschool programs – in fact, both Senators and the Congressman are members of Net Literacy’s Honorary Board of Directors! But what I learned is that we have to talk to them about helping us youth more and ask them to talk to their colleagues about helping us youth more by increasing funding of afterschool programs. If there were two points that I emphasized to the staff that we met, it was that there is a desperate and immediate need for afterschool programs to receive additional funding, and that traditional academics during our school day would be made more impactful if afterschool type programs could be integrated into them to provide the theory that we learn more context and a real world applications. Simply said, afterschool programs help students succeed and increase our high school graduation rates. That’s good for us students, good for business, and good public policy for keeping our country competitive in this international and competitive global marketplace.

Representing Net Literacy, a student founded nonprofit that’s a member of the Afterschool Alliance, I was one of two students among ten speakers that had the opportunity to talk to the crowd of supporters at the rally in front of our nation’s capital. The Congressmen and Senators were more knowledgeable and spoke more eloquent than I, but I told my story and Net Literacy’s story about how an afterschool program can change students’ lives. The halls in schools throughout Indianapolis, like most other larger urban areas, are seemingly populated by the ghosts of students that dropped out because they didn’t have enough family or other support to continue in school. Some of these are my friends. So from my heart, I talked in a way that said not providing additional funding for afterschool programs not only costs America money in reduced competition, it costs American’s the ability to live rich and productive lives.

I’d also like to say that there are some extraordinary corporations that have an outstanding social conscious and give back to the communities where they serve. Bright House Networks, the organization that took a chance on a bunch of middle school students with big dreams when we asked them to help fund us so that we could increase computer access back in 2004, became our first funders. They believed in us and have supported every year since then. We would not be successful without the support of companies like Bright House Networks, and we’re proud that they’re long time supports of the National Afterschool Alliance. While other companies have generously supported us and other nonprofits that support afterschool programs, we believe that companies must have heart and soul and give of themselves to support afterschool programs. It’s not just about monetary funding, Bright House Networks has a leader that serves as a member of the 50% of our board that are adults.

We need more money for afterschool programs. As a 15 year old, I see how those high school students those are able to take advantage of and participate in afterschool activities are impacted and the cost for those that are unable to participate because there just isn’t enough money to help all of the students that need the help. What’s frustrating is that by not finding additional millions of dollars to fund afterschool alliance programs now, our society will pay billions for those students that are incarcerated or never attain their full potential because they were unable to participate in afterschool activities.

This was an extraordinary learning opportunity. I was the only teen that for the Indiana delegation, and the adults suggested that I be make the introductions and make my comments first. While I didn’t have the global appreciation that other members of the Indiana delegation have, I’ve seen firsthand how student without options, such as afterschool programs, fail at school, and know that many will later go on to fail in life.

Attending the After School Challenge helped put things into context for me. The first thing that was done after my return was to make certain that the rest of Net Literacy’s Executive Student Board was aware of the results of our trip. In accordance with the way things work at Net Literacy, our Student Executive Board contributed to this blog and we collectively wrote it. It’s the wiki-management way that Net Literacy’s student volunteers work together. The second thing that we did is to more fully complete all of the programs that we offer on the Indiana Afterschool Network’s website – as high school and college students, we didn’t fully appreciate how the Afterschool Alliance is impacting us. But it’s not enough for organizations – especially student empowered organizations – not to be social activists, agents of change, and part of the solution. We can’t ask organizations like the Afterschool Alliance to bare all of the responsibilities of lobbying for us. Local nonprofits have to become cognizant and engaged in the awareness campaign ourselves.

Net Literacy is about student engagement and student empowerment – so we brainstormed how we could make a difference to support Afterschool programs beyond the scope of Net Literacy. Our Executive Student Board decided to submit a grant to America’s Promise that will provide a website of “best after school activity practices” that students (educators, and nonprofits) can suggest to make our daily academics more like an afterschool activity.

Respectfully submitted,

David Johnson and the Net Literacy Student Executive Board

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.”