Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center, WildTech, Digitunity & AT&T Provide Free Digital Literacy Workshops for Washington, DC Residents

AT&T Blog Team
April 7, 2023

Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center, WildTech, Digitunity & AT&T Provide Free Digital Literacy Workshops for Washington, DC Residents

What’s the news?  The Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center is collaborating with AT&T and WildTech to empower older adults in Washington, DC by helping them gain skills and confidence to participate fully, safely and responsibly in today’s digital world.

During a special event at the center on April 6, a core group of 5 seniors were honored for completing a month-long technology training program using resources developed through AT&T’s collaboration with the Public Library Association (PLA) on computers provided to WildTech by Digitunity through a national relationship with AT&T.

A second group of 5 students will be trained using the same resources., including additional desktop computers provided by WildTech and Digitunity.

WildTech delivered the donated Core i5 Desktop computers with 500GB hard drives; 4-8GB RAM; Windows 10pro; Office 2019; 22” monitors; mice; and keyboards, for the Faunteroy community access lab as part of this initiative.

Why is this important?

According to the U.S. Department of Education1, about 16 percent of U.S. adults are not digitally literate. To help close the digital divide, it’s important that families have accessible and affordable internet connectivity, but equally as important is that they have the digital literacy skills needed to use and benefit from the internet.

How we will make it happen 

These in-person community workshops teach basic digital literacy skills, including: how to use computers and mobile devices; how to use common apps such as search engines, email and video conferencing; and how to stay safe online and avoid scams and fraud.  To support all types of learners, sessions incorporated presentations and handouts, as well as student activities facilitated by WildTech volunteers.

For those unable to attend community workshops, and for learners seeking to continue building their skills, virtual courses are available through AT&T ScreenReady® and PLA Digital Learn.  Here, people can advance their digital literacy skills through virtual guided instruction, animated demonstrations and hands-on learning in English or Spanish.

The initiative is part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative and our 3-year, $2 billion commitment made in 2021 to address the digital divide through investments in internet accessibility, affordability and the safe adoption of technology.

What are people saying?

“As a community-based organization focused on capacity building, basic computer skills are a necessary component for connection with all generations.  Closing the digital divide with our seniors is impactful in terms of how they will be able to connect with family and community resources,” said Dr. Estelle-Marie Montgomery, PhD, Executive Director, Faunteroy Center. “Availability to technology has always been a challenge for under-resourced communities, therefore, being able to bridge the gap with our seniors and watch them absorb this ‘foreign language’ without hesitation is a testament to their resilience.  The newly minted collaboration with AT&T, Wildtech, and Digitunity is already delivering on sustainable outcomes.”

“People most impacted by the digital divide need more than just accessible and affordable connectivity,” said Christopher Carroll, regional director of AT&T External Affairs in Washington, DC.  “To truly thrive, it’s important that we also provide digital literacy resources that teach the skills that people of all ages need to support online learning and complete other basic tasks. Together with the Faunteroy Center, WildTech and Digitunity, we’re proud to offer online courses and free workshops to help these older learn new skills – and teach others.”

To learn more, visit att.com/connectedlearning.

1 Source: U.S. Department of Education

*About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

We’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives. As part of our companywide $2 billion commitment from 2021 to 2023 to address the digital divide, we launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity and technology, digital literacy and education solutions to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Since 2008, we’ve committed to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.

About the Faunteroy Center

The Rockson Community Development Corporation (RCDC) is a 501(c)(3) Organization, DBA FH Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center (FCEC) established in 2013 with the purpose of serving and building trust with the community in order to build community capacity. Just as important, it serves as a safe haven for many of our youth, while providing them high-quality programming with social/emotional components infused in every program. Our Vision is to build capacity through intergenerational resilience and opportunities for sustainability. Our Mission is to support community self-determination at an intergenerational level by providing consistent, high-quality programming embedded in environmental stewardship and opportunities for enrichment, education (literacy), and exposure to enable resiliency and sustained outcomes. 

About Digitunity

Owning a computer is critical to participating in the modern economy. Yet, 36 million people in America do not have a computer, thereby locked out of the opportunities the internet can provide. Digitunity, a national nonprofit organization committed to advancing digital equity, is working to make owning a computer possible for everyone. Digitunity works at the systems level to make free or affordable computers available, with communities to support strategies for sustainable device access programs, and as a unique source of knowledge and information for the digital inclusion field. To learn more about Digitunity and our almost four decades of experience in the distribution of free or low-cost devices, visit https://digitunity.org/.

About Public Library Association

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or [email protected].