Clowes Fund and Hoover Family Foundation Support Net Literacy, Again!

Hoover Family Foundation

Net Literacy is grateful for the Clowes Fund’s and the Hoover Family Foundation’s continuing support for Net Literacy’s digital literacy and digital inclusion projects.

After funding Net Literacy’s 2009 summer program, in 2010, the Hoover Family Foundation provided Net Literacy an annual grant of $10,000.

The Clowes Fund has supported Net Literacy since 2008, and this year, the Clowes Fund granted Net Literacy $17,500 for the years 2010 and 2011.

This funding enables student volunteers to repurpose thousands of computers each year which are donated to schools and nonprofits. Since 2003, Net Literacy has increased computer access to over 150,000 individuals. During the last three years, Net Literacy has donated over 11,000 computers. Research shows that as an independent variable, students with a computer at home are 6-8% more likely to graduate from high school. We couldn’t make a difference and be providing the computers we refurbish and our digital literacy services at no cost without the support and advocacy of our partners.

Thank you – Clowes Fund and the Hoover Family Foundation!

Respectfully,

Daniel Kent

The Clowes Fund

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]

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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.

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!

Respectfully,

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 (www.digitalliteracycorps.org)
– 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

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 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