Bridging the “Digital Divide” is the focus of the “Computers For Families” program and all that entails. Technology has changed the way adults look for jobs to the way children do their homework. In all cases at the core of their success is computer literacy. The computer has become an appliance, as is the stove, refrigerator and telephone. Every home must have a computer and internet access.
Job applications are online and most jobs require at some point of obtainment or advancement the knowledge of how to utilize a computer. Successful completion of homework requiring research, typing and printing require access to a computer and the internet.
From 2010 to 2012 a pilot program was conducted in a public housing project that centered around 300 computers given to households containing school age children, senior citizens and families that contained at least one unemployed parent. The program was evaluated by a team of PhD’s and MSW’s from the University Of Southern California School Of Social Work. The results of the study verified that in homes where broadband adoption had taken place and access to computers and the internet children’s grades improved and adults found employment. The program results have been published in the Computers For Human Behavior Journal and most recently recognized by Harvard University as a resource for the effect of computers, technology and the future of our workforce. A student that has lacked the access to technology in their formative years should not be expected to pursue higher education because college entrance requires computer literacy.
The program goes far beyond just having a computer. There is additional training that requires a culture shift in the lives of the disadvantaged and underserved living below the poverty level.
The program has been expanded to encompass all of Los Angeles Public Housing and the Los Angeles Public Library System. This program provides that “Technology Bridge” by providing affordable computers and internet access in the home.