Our meeting kicked off this month with two Hire KC Youth Digital Scholars, Noah Yener and Eleanor Nash. The report they’ve worked on for the last 8 weeks of their internship was to identify and evaluate Community Learning Centers, such as Brush Creek Community Center, Marlborough Community Center and Connecting for Good, among others. Their evaluation was based on the digital resources available within the centers and found that most community centers had less than ideal conditions – either computers that weren’t working or didn’t have basic programs necessary for students and residents. Ultimately, the duo hopes this evaluation will help close “The Homework Gap” by giving recommendations to those centers that failed to meet ideal conditions.

The Coalition was also lucky to have Angela Siefer from National Digital Inclusion Alliance in attendance. Siefer had attended Kansas City Digital Drive’s Gigabit City Summit event Aug. 1-3 and stayed an extra day for our Coalition meeting. She praised Kansas City for its inclusion efforts, explicitly stating that Kansas City is a digital leader and that the Coalition’s network in Kansas City is a blueprint for cities across the nation.

After our guest speaker, we heard presentations from our work session groups.

The “Overcoming Barriers” group identified the barriers of lack of access to the internet, lack of awareness of local access to the internet, and lack of knowledge that the internet is an important commodity. The group is in the process of reaching out to hird District City Council members about the location of public wifi, updating the public wifi map and researching educational opportunities in areas of low access.

The “Broadening Participation” group was lead by Rick Usher, whose group is already focused on broadcasting the news of the Digital Inclusion Coalition, such as posting all meetings on Facebook Live. They are in the process of meeting with the KC Rising group as a part of the workforce development piece of their broadening participation solutions.

The “Connecting People,” group is in the process of connecting to the United Way call center in order to leverage their massive reach through their 211 services. This group needs more members if any of the Coalition members are interested.

The “Raising Awareness” group, presented by Tom Esselman, has an ultimate goal of spreading the word of digital inclusion in a meaningful way. The biggest challenge is to create a message that is concrete and meaningful, and their solution has been so far to identify the audience for tailored messages: Consumer, Learner, Digital Citizen, Employer, Entrepreneur and Collaborator.

Next month, the sessions will convene again for a big group work session on Friday, September 8, 2017.

Further Reading

Civic Innovation Challenge awards $1 million to KC Digital Drive-partnered project to help underrepresented youth access extracurricular learning opportunities

On September 21st, the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the 17 recipients of their Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) Stage 2 Awards. One of the winners was the Connecting Underrepresented Youths with Employment Opportunities, led by the University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. This project, which KC Digital Drive is partnering on, will build and test an integrated mobile application to help underrepresented youth find and access out-of-school-time learning opportunities.

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KC Digital Drive one of four nonprofit recipients of Kansas Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative grant through Kansas Health Foundation

On July 13, 2021, the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) announced the four nonprofit recipients of its Kansas Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative grant. KC Digital Drive (KCDD) is one of the four recipients, all receiving a 3-year, $250,000 award. The “initiative will support multi-sector community collaboratives to develop and advocate for policies, programs and services […]

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