Collaborating to Catalyze Digital Access Opportunities

April 4th, 2024 | News


By Jeana Davis and Justine Schade

Digital independence occurs when all individuals have the tools, access and skills to inquire, connect, achieve, and advance. Together, World Education and AT&T are collaborating to close persistent digital divides and guide communities to digital self-sufficiency through integrated digital access and literacy services in community based organizations across the United States. With generous contributions from AT&T, World Education will expand its existing presence supporting AT&T’s Connected Learning Centers (CLCs) in diverse communities across the country.

CLCs are housed within local non-profit organizations supporting a variety of missions and diverse populations. Each CLC is poised to allow the organization to expand its offerings to allow for increased connectivity, device acquisition, and training. Each CLC provides a unique approach to help tackle the digital divide by providing free access to a range of digital resources for students and families all under one roof, often including: high-speed AT&T internet, laptops or computers, free educational resources to build digital skills, and training support from organization staff, AT&T volunteers, and other community partners.

AT&T’s initial relationship with World Education allowed for the provision of technical assistance to four connected learning centers to pilot the integration of digital navigation services in Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; and Tupelo, MS. CitySquare’s CEO, Annam Manthiram has noted that: CitySquare, is in one of the most impoverished communities in Dallas, and many of our neighbors do not have access to computers or internet services. The Connected Learning Center (CLC) is helping to bridge a gap for our neighbors by providing them access to computers and the internet, along with digital literacy classes on various critical topics. The CLC is an incredible addition to the resources on our campus and to our broader community of neighbors. The success of the initial investment has allowed us to expand our capacity and be awarded continued support for all of AT&T’s CLC portfolio.

AT&T’s new investment represents an intentional expression of their commitment to closing the digital divide. World Education will continue to provide support for more than 50 community based organizations as they explore the impact of digital skills and access within their own communities. We aim to bolster their capacity to navigate and harness emerging technologies effectively all while weaving intentional skills development and access into their current missions. The CLCs represent a rich collection of urban, rural, and tribal environments, each bringing unique perspectives, strengths, and challenges. Together, they will foster a vibrant community of practice, sharing innovations, strategies, and insights to collectively propel digital advancement.

To read more about our upcoming work through the Connecting Communities for Digital Opportunity project, check our project page for updates.

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