Program will reach 10,000 Bostonians, 6,000 households by summer
To mark National Digital Literacy Day, Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced the City of Boston’s “Tech Goes Home” programming will reach 10,000 Bostonians from 6,000 households by summer 2013. Tech Goes Home is a nationally-recognized program that equips families and residents with the tools, training and access required for the digital age. Participants receive fifteen hours of hands-on classroom training, a new netbook or mobile device (for a $50 co-pay), and, for eligible residents, access to low-cost home Internet.
“Tech Goes Home makes a real difference in the lives of our residents every day.” Mayor Menino said. “Access to the Internet is so important for people looking for work, young people looking to take advantage of educational opportunities, and really anyone who needs to communicate in today’s digital age. We’ve become a national model for bridging the digital divide, and our work to bring technology to our residents in need will only continue from here.”
74% of Tech Goes Home (TGH) participants have a household income under $25,000, and 79% are single female heads of household. 41% are English language learners. Since 2010, TGH has trained 9,000 participants, and will reach 10,000 by summer. The program has provided hardware to more than 5,200 households and signed up more than 2,100 households for Internet access. According to data collected from TGH, 90% of participants report having access to the Internet after completing TGH programming, compared to 66% prior. 40% of participants say TGH has helped them find employment or improved their prospects at their current job.
“The Internet is responsible for 21% of economic growth in developed nations, and to build a better Boston, all our residents need to have access,” Bill Oates, Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston said. “Tech Goes Home provides this access, and as a result opens a whole new set of doors to a population that might otherwise be without.”
In the powerful TGH school-based model, a parent and child learn as a team, at the child’s school, taught by teachers from the school. Beginning in 2010, TGH added additional classes to provide training to individuals in community assets: libraries, community centers, housing associations, and public computing centers. More than 4,500 individuals now participate in the program each school year. Whether training families in the schools or individuals in the community, participants learn to “Live, Learn, Earn, Work, and Play” more efficiently and effectively through the use of online tools.