I N S I D E
YMCA: Skill Building
The application deadline for the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund (TMF) is 5:00 p.m., February 18. This year, the City will award approximately 9-15 grants of up to $10,000 each. Seattle neighborhood groups and organizations are invited to apply for funds for projects which increase technology literacy and access in their communities. The City is also encouraging civic participation projects which increase resident involvement in problem solving and use information and communications technology to support their effort. Applications and guidelines are available online at seattle.gov/tech, at Neighborhood Service Centers or by calling the Community Technology Program at (206) 684-0600.
The Technology Matching Fund was established in 1997 to support the community’s effort to close the digital divide and encourage a technology-healthy city. A recent study conducted by the City shows that while Seattle is a very technology savvy community, with 83 percent of residents using the Internet and 83 percent having a computer at home, there still remains a significant digital divide in access and use by senior citizens, especially elderly women, African Americans, low-income and low-educated residents.Read about the great upcoming events below.
Feb 16, 19, 23rd, March 8th.
Greg Nickels, Mayor
director, office of
D.H. CASS MAGNUSKI
One of the 2004 Technology Matching Fund projects is the YMCA of Greater Seattle's program to teach at-risk drop-out students hardware and software basics, and then give them computers at the end of the course. According to the Y's Computer Education Supervisor Paul Young, "Not only will the students learn hands-on computer skills in class," said Paul Young of the YMCA, "but they will also earn a computer of their own to bring home." "We're excited about the ripple effect this will have in the community," he said, "as the students use their new skills and share them with friends and family."
According to Young, "Although we were pretty strong in teaching a variety of business software programs, we had nothing to offer the students who were interested in hardware. Many of our re-entry students have not been active in school and have fallen behind, not only in regular academic subjects, but in the technical skills that are taken for granted by regular computer users."
Youth involved in the program are excited to acquire new skills, and report a sense of hands-on accomplishment in this classroom. One of the students, Adrianna Murtha, said, "The hardest thing about this class was trying to remember all the parts, but once I got that down, it was fun. The coolest thing would be the teacher, Tavaras Powell, because he is so nice and explained it clearly for me to understand."
Another student, Ryan Ogborn, said, "The coolest part was hooking up the upgrades onto the computers. The most boring part was trying to get the dust out of the inside of the computer. There really was no actual hard part. Everything was explained nice and simple so it was really easy to comprehend."
Classmate Bezaneh Zegeye agrees. "The coolest thing would be taking them apart then putting them back together and making them work better. You get that 'I just fixed something!' feeling."
By adding a hardware component to their technology curriculum, the YMCA has encouraged students to see the broader picture of technology -- the relationship between hardware and software -- and to develop a variety of approaches to technology learning. According to Young, the key factors in making the decision to proceed in this direction were:
Student Ryan Ogborn is excited. "It has given me a jump start on a career that has a lot to do with what I want to go in to."
The program has been a success so far because it has provided individuals with their own computers, given them a sense of ownership and confidence, taught important hardware and troubleshooting knowledge, and created a cohort of new technology teachers passing their knowledge on to their families and friends. It has also put computers into homes that might not otherwise have had one and increased the availability of information to people who need it the most.
Other organizations interested in launching this type of program could benefit from considering the difficulties encountered by the YMCA's experience. According to Young, problems included storage limitations for computer donations because of their size and shape. Another suggestion was to plan for thoroughly cleaning donated computers, which tend to be filled with dust. BIOS upgrades require planning, according the Young, and backup computers should be available to cover for the occasional inoperable ones. It is essential to teach students about the availability of free firewall, spyware removal and antivirus software, and how to use them. Extra time should be spent in the classroom on effective use of the web. Be sure to cover search engines, downloads, PDFs, zipfiles.
The YMCA of Greater Seattle, Metrocenter Branch is located at 909 4th Avenue in Seattle, on the lower level (LL17). They boast a 10-workstation computer lab and another classroom with nine workstations. They offer Internet access, Windows XP and Win2000 operating systems, video production and editing equipment, office and keyboarding software, digital cameras and web design software. They just finished their hardware class, which is available once a month. For more information, contact Paul Young, YMCA of Greater Seattle, (206) 382-5060.
Black History Month provides us with a great opportunity to learn from and honor the achievements of African American leaders in technology. At the same time that we honor the famous leaders, it is also important to honor the contributions of those leaders and workers behind the scenes that make any business run smoothly, allowing other leaders to excel. Here is a profile of one leader recognized last year by the Career Communications Group. Read more about Seattle Black History Month events at seattle.gov/blackhistory.
Computational Science Researcher Leads and Gives
Roscoe Giles, deputy director of Boston University’s Center for Computational Science and a professor of computer and electrical engineering in the university’s College of Engineering, was named one of the “50 Most Important Blacks in Research Science” in 2004 by the publishing company, Career Communications Group (CCG), which publishes US Black Engineer & Information Technology, Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology, and Science Spectrum.
Giles’ area of research is computational science, which is the use of advanced computer systems to understand and solve problems. His projects focus on the use of high-performance parallel computers to solve problems in physics and materials science and on the development of algorithms for large-scale micromagnetic modeling and molecular dynamic simulation. In addition to this research, Giles works to bring computing to people and people to computing through his involvement as a founder and the executive director of the Institute for African-American ECulture. This NSF-funded institute addresses cultural issues of the digital divide.
Giles has also been a team leader in the National Science Foundation’s Education, Outreach, and Training Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (EOT-PACI) group. In 1975, he became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford University.
Digital Promise has just released the Quick Link directory for computer learning centers in affordable housing communities. Available in Word and HTML, the directory is a collection of useful links that lab coordinators can refer to as they provide programs and services to the users of their center.
"Community technology labs are used in so many diverse ways." says Project Coordinator Ellen Earth, "The Quick Link directory is a handy resource so the lab managers can direct their users to the resources they need." Included in the directory are categories such as education, employment, entertainment, genealogy and more. According to Digital Promise Board President Joseph B. Diehl, "We are excited about being able to provide tools that help seniors and low-income residents use computers and the Internet for things that interest them." Although the directory was designed for use in affordable housing communities, it is available to anyone. The Quick Link Directory was made possible by funding from the City of Seattle's Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund. For more information or the obtain copies of the directory, contact email@example.com or call (206) 290-5498.
When the Seattle Community Network Association’s Computer Giveaway Project needed a new workspace, PSACT was able to help. After finding space available in the building housing PSACT’s office, PSACT Director Sandra Mears got together with Computer Giveaway "Supreme Commander" Ti Locke to “do a deal.” Under the new agreement, SCNA was able to move its workshop and inventory into new digs at 157 Roy Street in Seattle.
The partnership supports shared goals of both organizations, particularly increasing computer access and technology literacy throughout the community and reducing waste through re-use and recycling. The new workspace will not only support the giveaway itself, but also provides a place for volunteers and community members to teach, learn and practice technical skills with both software and hardware.
The Computer Giveaway is an all-volunteer project organized in 1986 by Ti Locke, who also serves as director of SCNA. The project accepts donated computers and peripheral equipment from businesses and individuals, short-circuiting that trip to the landfill and putting the equipment to good use. Obsolete equipment is recycled through a partnership with King County Computer Recovery Project (now called Take it Back Network). Pentium-class and above equipment is refurbished by volunteer techies and given free to non-profits, agencies and individuals throughout the Puget Sound region. Financial support comes through donations to SCNA; part goes to defray recycling costs, since recycling is not free.
PSACT helps out by coordinating drop-off and/or pick-up at the site. After clearing with Ti Locke, donors/recipients can call (206) 267-2879 or Lane Campbell to arrange a specific time.
The Community Perspectives Project Presentations and Civic Dialogue
IDHA's Intergenerational Dialogue and Photo exhibit about International District issues.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16: PRESENTATION TO COMMUNITY AND CITY STAFF about Community Perspectives Project and discussing strategies for addressing community concerns. 4-5 p.m. at the Sound Transit Board Room at Union Station, 401 S. Jackson Street.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23: CITY COUNCIL BROWN BAG PRESENTATION & DISCUSSION; Noon to 1:30 p.m., City Council chambers, City Hall. Or watch it on the SeattleChannel.org.
Black Data Processing Association (BDPA) is hosting the third annual Information Technology IT day on Saturday, February 19 for Black History Month.
Location: Emerald City Outreach Ministries, 7728 Rainer Avenue South
Date: February 19
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
On the day of this event, there will be a community booth fair. If you would like a booth or more info, please email Monique Roberts at or call (206) 490-1308.
Deadline for letters of inquiry: February 11, 2005
Social Venture Partners Seattle seeks to partner with organizations providing activities for youth ages 5-18 during out-of-school time, including before and after-school hours, evenings, and weekends. Programs should provide one or more of the following: quality time with caring adults; activities designed to develop social, life, and leadership skills; academic enrichment; and opportunities to contribute to their communities. The Out of School Time Grant Committee expects to award two grants of approximately $40,000 each. SVP will make initial single-year grants that it intends to lead into longer-term partnerships (typically three to five years). In addition to the grants, SVP will provide consulting to help build the organizational, management, and technology infrastructure of its grantees.
Deadline: February 18, 2005
Seattle neighborhood groups and organizations are invited to apply for funds for projects which increase technology literacy and access in their communities. The City is also encouraging civic participation projects which increase resident involvement in problem solving and use information and communications technology to support their effort.
Deadline: March 28
The mission of Staples Foundation for Learning is to provide funding to programs that support or provide job skills and/or education for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth.
Deadline: Deadline: March 4
This grants program is designed to support the delivery of financial literacy education to underserved adult segments of society, including the newly employed, young workers, individuals moving from welfare to work, and immigrants.
Deadlines: March 31; June 30; and September 30
Adobe supports schools and community-based organizations with programs that enable and inspire K-12 students to think creatively, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively, using digital technology and communication tools. Adobe also supports nonprofit organizations and programs with an emphasis on the following criteria:
The Public Welfare Foundation supports organizations that address human needs in disadvantaged communities, with strong emphasis on organizations that include service, advocacy and empowerment in their approach: service that remedies specific problems; advocacy that addresses those problems in a systemic way through changes in public policy; and strategies to empower people in need to play leading roles in achieving those policy changes and in remedying specific problems. 2005 funding priorities include community development, criminal justice, the environment, health, human rights and global security, reproductive and sexual health, youth, welfare reform and civic participation.
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