Digital access is still top of mind for Philadelphians navigating the impact of the pandemic, and for the institutions serving them.
Three Philly nonprofits are the recipients of a combined $50,000 in grants from AT&T. The goal: boost digital literacy and help Philadelphians overcome academic challenges.
AT&T is a partner in the City of Philadelphia’s Digital Literacy Alliance, which makes grants to external projects working to increase digital access for city residents. Last year, for instance, the Alliance granted money to orgs that would create “digital navigator” positions that would help Philadelphians access and use technology and the internet. (Here’s a look at those navigators’ on-the-ground impact.)
This $50,000 in grants is part of an AT&T commitment to invest more than $2 billion in the next three years to curb the digital divide in the U.S. The $50,000 will be spread across Philly orgs focusing on tech training for kids, on low-income and immigrant communities, and on those seeking medical care, substance use programs and housing:
- Coded by Kids will receive $20,000 to support tech and digital education programming for its OnE Philadelphia after-school program.
- The Welcoming Center, which runs the FOCUS program providing hybrid learning to underserved, low-income and immigrant populations, will receive $20,000.
- Philadelphia FIGHT, a healthcare nonprofit, will receive $10,000 to support digital literacy training and a device library that will offer access to medical care, housing and substance use programs.
“The pandemic heightened the challenges faced by the millions of students and others nationwide, including here in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania,” said Joseph Divis, assistant VP of AT&T’s external affairs, in a statement. “Our support of these organizations will help the people they serve boost their digital literacy skills, giving them a better shot at success in the classroom, at work and in life.”
Sylvester Mobley, founder and CEO of Coded by Kids, said that the pandemic has added another layer of complexity to the org’s vision, with more than a year of learning loss. Now, he said, Black and brown students at an even greater disadvantage for advancing math, literacy and digital literacy skills.
“That’s why we’re thrilled to have the AT&T Foundation’s support and commitment for our new 1Philadelphia After School Learning Pod, an after-school accelerated learning program for K-5th grade students designed to provide wrap-around services of support to counter educational impacts of COVID-19, ultimately setting students on a pathway to success in tech or entrepreneurial careers,” he said.
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