Teaming Up to Boost Digital Literacy and Learning for Philadelphia Youth

David Kerr, President – AT&T Pennsylvania
February 14, 2024
Broadband Access and Affordability

Teaming Up to Boost Digital Literacy and Learning for Philadelphia Youth

I recently joined the leadership of The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) for a tour of some of the PAL facilities throughout the city. I learned so much about the centers’ operations and reach. For more than 75 years, the officers who participate in PAL have given their time, energy and commitment to help enrich the lives of young people in Philadelphia, and I was glad to see the facilities in person.

The day before the tour, we visited the Harrowgate PAL Center, where we were joined by PAL board members and staff, officers, volunteers, students and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel to celebrate a $10,000 contribution from AT&T to help the PAL provide young people with more access to computers and technology training.

We also distributed 250 laptops to local families and students. The laptops, funded by an AT&T donation to Human-I-T, will enable access to the internet and the myriad digital tools and opportunities available online. The students will also have access to The Achievery, a free online learning platform we created to provide K-12 students with engaging and entertaining content paired with learning activities for everywhere today’s connected students learn.

This contribution is a part of AT&T’s Connected Learning® Initiative, a companywide commitment designed to meet the digital needs of students, caregivers and families through devices and internet access and educational and digital literacy resources, particularly for those in underserved communities.

Here’s what Susan Slawson, executive director of PAL, said during the celebration: “The Police Athletic League is grateful to work with AT&T in addressing the digital divide in the under-resourced neighborhoods PAL serves. Together, we recognize that connectivity is a key driver of empowerment and equality. Through this collaboration, we aim to provide not just access to technology, but a pathway to education, opportunities, and community engagement. PAL and AT&T share a commitment to breaking down barriers, fostering inclusivity, and building a future where every member of our community can thrive in the digital age.”

Check out an interview with Susan, who previewed our event.

I had a great 2 days in Philadelphia, spending time with the Philadelphia police officers, PAL staff and other committed volunteers, who work every day to protect Philadelphians and help the city’s young people learn and grow in safe environments.

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