Technology is revolutionizing the nation, however the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the digital divide that still exists. Many families from the Latinx and Black communities are disconnected from the Internet and do not have computers at home.
Since 2006, the William & Lanaea C. Featherstone Foundation has led its legacy digital literacy program, Empowering Latinos, One Click at a Time.
Without digital access and know-how, it’s difficult for family members to learn about and apply for higher paying jobs, or help their children with homework. Children in those households are at a disadvantage in school. The Foundation’s digital literacy work is profiled in the Open Society Institute’s Baltimore’s Justice Report.
Our robust, Spanish Language digital literacy program teaches immigrants and those from the Latinx community basic computer literacy skills with the goal of increasing their employment opportunities and enhancing their ability to support their children academically.
At the beginning of the program, participants learn how to use the mouse; however, by the end of the course they had achieved tremendous outcomes. For the first time, they developed resumes, learned to use the Internet and received laptops for their homes.
As a result of our program:
- 100 % of participants now feel prepared to help their children with homework using technology. Prior, only 33% felt prepared to help their children.
- 100 % of participants now feel prepared to receive a better paying job. Prior to our program, only 17 % reported feeling comfortable securing a better paying job.
- 90 % of participants produced high-quality, professional resumes. None had resumes before our course.
- 43 % of participants reported a household income of $21,000 or less.
- 53% visited a library in the United States for the first time and 76% received a library card.