Philadelphia OIC: nonprofit aims to expand its KEYSPOT-backed online GED training program - Technical.ly Philly

Access

Aug. 30, 2012 12:00 pm

Philadelphia OIC: nonprofit aims to expand its KEYSPOT-backed online GED training program

How can KEYSPOT's more than two dozen organizational partners keep their programs going? They might need to break up to find out.
Inside the Philadelphia OIC’s “Blended Classroom” online GED training. Photo courtesy of Erich Smith.

Inside the Philadelphia OIC's "Blended Classroom" online GED training. Photo courtesy of Erich Smith.

With its $18 million in federal funding set to dry up next summer, the city’s Freedom Rings Partnership/KEYSPOT initiative, a broad public-private partnership aimed at closing the digital divide, is now thinking about survival.

How can KEYSPOT’s more than two dozen organizational partners keep their programs going? They might need to break up to find out.

Two partners — the nonprofit Philadelphia Opportunity Industrialization Center (OIC) and the city’s Free Library — are trying that tactic.

Last winter, they successfully applied for a six-month, $35,000 grant [pdf] through the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy to extend the Philadelphia OIC’s “Blended Classroom” initiative, an online GED training program, says Erich Smith, OIC’s digital program manager. Now, the OIC and the Free Library are teaming up again in hopes of winning a year-long, $75,000 grant from the same Mayor’s Commission.

Smith says he hopes the grant money can help the OIC to reach more people working toward their GED.

The program is important, he says, because it allows people to study for their GED without having to physically be present at every single class. That way, they don’t lose out if they have a full-time job or other responsibilities. The Blended Classroom also equips teachers with digital resources to teach their students more effectively.

The Free Library helped the OIC find spaces for the future classes, like the Nicetown-Tioga Library and the Mercy Neighborhood Ministry, where the Free Library currently runs a public computing center.

Advertisement

One success of the KEYSPOT program, says Free Library Public Services Technology Coordinator Jennifer Donsky, is that it gave way to these “natural pairings,” like the partnership between the OIC and the Free Library. The OIC couldn’t have applied for the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy grant without the Free Library, as all the applicants had to have a library partner.

These smaller partnerships that grew out of the KEYSPOT initiative show “tremendous impact of the federal dollars,” Donsky says.

Read more about the Free Library’s KEYSPOT programs and the Philadelphia OIC’s digital initiatives on Technically Philly.

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Young people in West Philly created a digital drop-in center for homeless youth

Hear from Kickstarter cofounder Yancey Strickler at Generocity’s ADVANCE conference on Nov. 1

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is training childhood cancer researchers in data science

SPONSORED

Philly

How ShopRunner’s mentorship program is pushing its employees to think beyond their fields

Philadelphia, PA

Vistar Media

QA Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Business Architect

Apply Now

Horsham, PA

Penn Mutual

Agile Coach

Apply Now

Nonprofits, need an app? MilkCrate is building 3 for free, thanks to this partnership

Folks near PHA housing in North Philly can take $2.50 Lyft rides to the grocery store

SPONSORED

Philly

How Relay is helping enterprise clients get proactive about customer engagement

Philadelphia

Inspire

Manager, People Operations

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Sr. Software Engineer

Apply Now

Blue Bell, PA

Pinnacle 21

Senior Software Engineers

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!