Digital access continues to be a priority for Philadelphians facing the impact of the pandemic and for the institutions that serve them.
Three Philadelphia nonprofits have received a combined $50,000 in grants from AT&T. The goal: to boost digital literacy and help Philadelphians overcome academic challenges.
AT&T is a partner of City of Philadelphia Alliance for Digital Literacy, which provides grants to external projects aimed at increasing digital access for city residents. Last year, for example, the Alliance awarded money to organizations that would create “digital navigator” positions that would help Philadelphians access and use technology and the internet. (Here’s a look at how these browsers impacted the field.)
These $50,000 in grants are part of a commitment by AT&T to invest more than $2 billion over the next three years to bridge the digital divide in U.S. communities, and on those seeking medical care, substance abuse programs and housing:
- Coded by kids will receive $20,000 to support technology and digital education programming for its A Philadelphia extracurricular program.
- The reception center, who leads the FOCUS program that provides blended learning to underserved, low-income and immigrant populations, will receive $20,000.
- Philadelphia FIGHT, a non-profit healthcare organization, will receive $10,000 to support digital literacy training and a device library that will provide access to healthcare, housing and addiction programs.
“The pandemic has increased the challenges faced by millions of students and others across the country, including here in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania,” said Joseph Divis, AT&T’s assistant vice president of external affairs, in a statement. “Our support for these organizations will help the people they serve improve their digital literacy skills, giving them a better chance of succeeding in the classroom, at work and in life.”
Sylvester Mobley, founder and CEO of Coded by Kids, said the pandemic has added another layer of complexity to the organization’s vision, with more than a year of lost learning. Now, he said, black and brown students are at an even greater disadvantage in advancing math, literacy and digital literacy skills.
“That’s why we’re thrilled to have the AT&T The Foundation’s support and commitment to our new 1Philadelphia After School Learning Pod, an accelerated after-school learning program for K-5 students designed to provide comprehensive support services to counter the impacts education of COVID-19, ultimately setting students on a path to success in technology or entrepreneurial careers,” he said.