Second-year funding helps further the “Bridge Milwaukee” digital literacy program
MILWAUKEE – Feb. 12, 2020 – Spectrum today announced that Milwaukee nonprofit Digital Bridge has been awarded a $25,000 Spectrum Digital Education Grant to continue its “Bridge Milwaukee” digital literacy program, as part of a $5 million national commitment to digital education in Spectrum communities across the country.
Spectrum’s newest $25,000 grant will allow Digital Bridge to expand the digital literacy program it helped launch in 2019 through an initial $32,500 Spectrum Digital Education Grant.
“We are proud to once again support Digital Bridge, whose digital literacy program and commitment to provide access to technology helps further our mission to provide families and seniors in the Milwaukee area with the necessary tools to grow and prosper in the digital age,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President of Community Impact for Charter Communications, Inc.
Spectrum’s Digital Education Grant will enable Digital Bridge to launch new and strengthen existing partnerships with area nonprofits and community organizations, to host digital workshops at their facilities and provide distribution of electronic resources to participants. Bridge Milwaukee removes barriers by bringing the technology and related training directly to individuals at the community-based organizations with which they are already comfortably engaged.
First-year results from the Bridge Milwaukee Program are promising. In less than a year, more than 170 individuals have obtained training and access to a device working through a variety of Milwaukee-based community organizations.
“Digital Bridge’s focus has been taking technological resources donated by companies and refurbishing this equipment to get it into the hands of those who would otherwise lack access,” says Jeff Hanson, Executive Director for Digital Bridge. “With Spectrum’s partnership and grant funding, we’ve added a layer of education and access training to help individuals confidently take the equipment and utilize it to improve their lives.”
“It’s all about removing the barriers. Sometimes barriers are access, so we’re bringing the program and more devices to different locations. Sometimes barriers are knowledge-based, so we’re providing some digital literacy training along with information on how to obtain low-cost internet service.”
YWCA of Southeast Wisconsin is one of the initial partners to incorporate the Bridge Milwaukee curriculum into their programs. They’ve collaborated with Digital Bridge to conduct various workshops and distribute equipment to those in need, and continue to identify further ways to expand the program’s reach and influence. For example, students enrolled in their High School Equivalency Diploma program participate in a Bridge Milwaukee workshop to receive training, information on broadband access and a working device.
“Our partnership with Digital Bridge has been extremely valuable and the feedback we’re receiving from program participants tells a story of impact,” says Jennifer de Montmollin, YWCA SEW Chief Program Officer. “Over the past six months, our partnership has helped 104 under-resourced people create personal digital access. Through one-to-one and group technical education sessions, combined with low-cost, high-quality computers, we’re creating improved access for work and educational opportunities for those we serve. By bringing the knowledge and resources into homes, we’re supporting improved educational options for the many adults we serve and their children.”
Spectrum Digital Education Grants is Charter’s philanthropic initiative supporting nonprofit organizations that help local community members improve their lives through digital education. This support includes financial and technology grants, PSAs and technical assistance for local nonprofit organizations. In 2019, the company received more than 200 eligible applications and awarded grants to 31 organizations across 13 states. Since the inception of Spectrum Digital Education in 2017, the company has awarded 71 financial and technology grants to local nonprofits in 41 communities.
Charter Communications, through its Spectrum brand, is committed to improving communities and impacting lives where our customers and employees live and work. More information on Spectrum Digital Education and Charter’s other signature program, Spectrum Housing Assist — a commitment to engage employees and community volunteers to improve 50,000 homes by 2020 — is available at communityimpact.spectrum.com.