Making an Impact on the Digital Divide:
Device Distribution in Tupelo, MS

By Jeana Davis

This blog post is the first in the Digital Equity at World Education series, which recaps our recent and ongoing digital inclusion work at multiple levels. Check out our Digital Equity page to view all of our resources.

Digital equity begins when everyone has the tools, skills, and access necessary to thrive in our digital economy. On May 11 of this year, World Education, in collaboration with AT&T, was delighted to support an event where laptops were distributed directly to community members at El Centro, a nonprofit organization that houses one of AT&T’s Connected Learning Centers, located in Tupelo, MS. The day started with a financial literacy class, taught by Ms. Leticia Gassaway, Chair of the El Centro Board of Directors and a champion of digital equity, where participants learned about the importance of credit. Ms. Gassaway explained that as a result of the event:

A woman presenting in front of a group

Fifty families in our community now have a computer they can use to improve their education, make doctor’s appointments, or help their kids with their schooling. We are grateful for these devices. Next up we’ll plan additional computer basics classes to make sure our families get the most of their new devices.”

All participants were pre-registered and obtained a laptop from Compudopt, graciously funded by AT&T through a contribution with World Education. The ability for the participants to have a laptop in their own home will provide each family the ability to continue to support their children’s schooling and continue them on their own literacy journey furthering their connectivity goals. 

Over the past year we have been expanding El Centro’s efforts to address the digital divide in their community and supporting the implementation of their digital navigation services model into their programming. If you are interested in learning more about those efforts, visit our Digital Navigators: Connecting Communities project page. Later this month we will feature a retrospective outlining our work over the past year to increase digital equity in our new Digital Equity at World Education series. 

A woman holding a box with a laptop in it
A group of students in a financial literacy workshop and device distribution event