The Digital Literacy Alliance — a 19-organization collective born out of the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia — just awarded close to $175,000 to 12 Philly organizations as they try to reduce the digital skills gap across the city.
Similar to last year’s grants round, the organizations focus on underserved populations such as immigrants, seniors, English-as-a-second-language speakers and people experiencing homeless.
“Expanding access to invaluable digital resources will only help our city and communities continue to grow and thrive,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in a press release. “It’s also important that we continue to support organizations that are dedicated to helping Philadelphians of all ages and backgrounds become digital innovators, educators and leaders.”
Twelve awards from Digital Literacy Alliance handed to diverse community groups #PHLTechAccess pic.twitter.com/FmgNNbh8nk
— Anne Gemmell (@AnneGemmellPA) August 9, 2018
This year, the DLA offered two categories of grants: Sustainability and Innovation. The former, aimed at supporting ongoing projects, backed organizations with up to $10,000, while the latter, looking to spark new projects, awarded up to $25,000.
Here’s the list of projects, as described by the City of Philadelphia:
- Asian Americans United — Develops digital literacy through community engagement programs
- Furness High School — Reinforces language skills for English-Language-Learning students by teaching them to code in support of environmental conservation
- Generations On Line — Offers Sip & Swipe cafes, a program to teach digital literacy to seniors
- Key Elementary School — Collects and digitizes stories about immigrant communities with a focus on preservation and education
- Lancaster Alliance 21 — Offers technology-focused business development training for traditional businesses on the Lancaster Avenue corridor
- Lutheran Settlement House — Provides digital literacy training for homeless populations at Jane Addams Place shelter
- Moder Patshala — Offers digital literacy training for K-12 students and their families among the Bangladeshi-American community
- Overbrook Educational Center — Implements BrailleNote Touch devices to reduce the digital divide for visually impaired students
- Philadelphia FIGHT — Pairs digital literacy and health management for vulnerable populations
- Philadelphia Parks Alliance — Provides digital media training for Philadelphia Recreation Advisory Council members to strengthen community center administration and maintenance
- SEAMAAC/United Communities — Teaches basic digital literacy to English Language Learners from Asian immigrant communities
- Supportive Older Women’s Network — Offers digital literacy workshops for grandparents who are raising grandchildren
“I am excited that we have completed another successful year of the Digital Literacy Alliance grant program,” said Andrew Buss, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer for the Office of Innovation and Technology. “This program provides organizations share digital resources with Philadelphians in innovate, creative ways. I look forward to working with community groups to continue expanding the reach of technology and breaking barriers to internet access at very corner of the city.”
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