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Making Moves to Close the Digital Divide

The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) has awarded a $25,000 grant to Valley Vision to manage implementation of the School2Home digital literacy program at Leataata Floyd Elementary School (LFE) in Sacramento during the 2017-18 academic year. This will be the third year that CETF and Valley Vision have supported LFE leadership with program implementation on-site. This year, LFE is expanding School2Home schoolwide, training all teachers and staff on effective integration of technology into their classrooms, and reaching about 350 students and families, up from 66 students just last year. With the expansion of the program, every child at LFE will have access to a laptop and other digital tools every day to support and augment their learning.

Leataata Floyd Elementary School serves the two neighboring public housing communities – Marina Vista and Alder Grove – where nearly half of residents do not have access to high-speed home Internet or digital tools. In addition to monitoring implementation of School2Home’s core components, Valley Vision plans to facilitate parent engagement workshops throughout the year focused on digital literacy and student success, aiming to expand digital access and inclusion within the neighborhood. Valley Vision and LFE leadership trained 40 parents in 2016-17 and are hoping to reach an even greater number this year.

Over the last year, Valley Vision has also continued to work with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) as a planning partner on Jobs Plus, a four-year initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support employment readiness among residents of public housing communities. Valley Vision’s goal, through management of both School2Home and the Connected Capital Broadband Consortium, is to help equip residents of Marina Vista and Alder Grove with the 21st Century skills needed to be successful in the digital age. Without access to broadband, residents of these communities will be less able to compete with their digitally connected peers. Moreover, despite proximity to the downtown area of our State’s capital city, many of the families with children at Leataata Floyd Elementary School are unable to access critical information, resources and services that most of us rely on every single day.

CETF has also awarded a $10,000 grant to Hacker Lab to provide technology skill development opportunities to parents with children at Leataata Floyd Elementary School and the surrounding community. Valley Vision and Hacker Lab are working collaboratively to maximize impact of the awarded grants. Both Valley Vision and Hacker Lab will be participating in an October 4th resource fair hosted by SHRA to outreach to residents on low-cost home Internet programs as well as the new resources and opportunities coming into the school and community.

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Jenny Wagner is a Valley Vision Project Associate working on School2Home, the Cleaner Air Partnership, and other Healthy Communities-related initiatives.

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