The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington on Thursday unveiled a refurbished digital “lab,” an initial gift that is part of a five-year digital literacy campaign funded by Comcast.
“The equipment is new, it’s jazzy,” said BGCGW president Pandit Wright. The club’s member children, she added, are “not necessarily going to have that equipment at home.”
The renovations were funded by a $100,000 grant from the Comcast Foundation. Comcast and NBCUniversal simultaneously announced they would spend tens of millions of dollars over five years on My.Future, a digital literacy project through Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“We hope that some folks in there, some of them are going to do STEM careers,” said Comcast vice president of community investment Charisse Lillie.
The Richard England Clubhouse 14 on Benning Road NE is now equipped with 20 new Dell Inspiron One 2350 computers and a Sharp PN-L802B 80 Interactive Whiteboard — in other words, a huge touch screen — and its lobby and “lab” room were renovated. Similar refurbishments were made in club houses in Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.
Also present at the unveiling ceremony were BGCA senior vice president and chief educational officer Damon Williams; NBC4 Washington morning news anchor Aaron Gilchrist; and Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander.
A gaggle of children listened dutifully to the speakers, resisting the urge to turn back to the new computers. But Egypt Grose, 13, and Michal Tucker, 10, had learned a few tricks already. Before the ceremony, Grose was fiddling with a picture of herself on pixlr.com. “She’s gonna put her face in a TV screen,” said Tucker. “I’m on TV!” Grose explained, adding that the computers would be dual-purpose: “When I’m done with my homework I’d like to play games.”
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