Fort Campbell and Hopkinsville, Kentucky (December 6, 2022) – Connected Nation (CN), in partnership with AT&T Kentucky, recently announced the launch of three free digital literacy and education programs that will serve adults and teens across the Commonwealth and nationally.
“I’m proud to be joining Connected Nation, a nonprofit founded in our Commonwealth, to support their efforts in closing the Digital Divide,“ said Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in a video statement shared during the joint press conference. “The pandemic put an emphasis for all our citizens to have access to have high-speed, reliable internet. This access allows folks to stay informed and connected to school, work, family, church, health care services, and more. When we invest in high-speed internet, we see long lasting benefits for our people.”
Nationwide, 42 million Americans lack access to high-speed internet. In addition, 43% of those impacted are low-income families and 1/3 of American workers lack the digital skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce.
“These new digital literacy and educational programs each target a critical area of digital learning and competency that will ultimately help us work more effectively toward closing the Digital Divide,” said Emily Jordan, Vice President of Education Initiatives, CN. “We’re especially excited about getting teens involved in helping older generations leverage technology to access the resources and opportunities that can help improve their lives.”
About the programs
The programs are Teens Teach Tech powered by AT&T, Achivery, and the Digital Literacy and Learning (DLL) Program. AT&T Kentucky and CN hosted a three location, live streaming press conference on Tuesday, November 15 featuring the Boys & Girls Club of Hopkinsville, the Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library, and Digital Works Fort Campbell, which are all sites of upcoming or current DLL or Teens Teach Tech programs.
Teens Teach Tech provides a path for teens in 9th to 12th grades to lead their own in-person and virtual digital literacy training projects in their communities. Achievery has simple learning modules for kids, parents, and teachers which were created by content providers such as Warner Brothers Discovery. Finally, through the DLL program, CN hosts in person and virtual digital learning workshops at no cost to an organization or community.
“There’s nothing more impactful we can do for a community than to invest in the future of its people,” said Carlos E. Sanchez, president of AT&T Kentucky. “We do that by investing in broadband, which powers growth and innovation in education, and through AT&T Connected Learning, our commitment to help stem the tide of learning loss and bridge the digital divide . We’re excited about the work being done by Connected Nation and others to help students succeed and proud to have the opportunity to support those efforts.”
Honoring veterans and military spouses
In addition, the two organizations took time to recognize Military Appreciation Month (November) at the Fort Campbell location where CN’s Digital Works team provides telework-related training and job placement assistance to veterans, transitioning soldiers, military spouses, and other military family members.
“The military community is the backbone of our country. Yet military spouses and veterans face some of the highest rate of unemployment in the country,” said Tammy Spring, Operations Manager, Digital Works. “Our goal at Connected Nation is to find ways to better serve our veterans and family members who keep the home fires burning even as their loved ones are deployed. To that end – we work to provide training and access to jobs that can move with military families as they asked to change locations.”
As part of the celebration, Digital Works’ team honored two recent graduates as Students of the Year—Colby Davenport, a military veteran, and Tyisha Varnado, a military spouse—and honored Karissa Poe with Blue Star Families of Tennessee as the Community Partner of the Year.
To learn more about Digital Works and potentially bring it to your community or organization, head to digitalworksjobs.org. You can find the full press conference here. All video is available to edit and re-air.
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About Connected Nation: Connected Nation celebrated 20 years of service in 2021. The national nonprofit’s mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.