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PROGRAMS - COMPUTERS 4 KIDS

Computers 4 Kids (C4K) is an ECO initiative designed to leverage technology for the benefit of vulnerable children in Tennessee. C4K is putting brand new computers into the hands of children in the foster care system and in households facing economic challenges. In addition to household computers, C4K is also providing computers and other technologies to non-profit organizations that work to enhance the lives of vulnerable students and families in their area. With the computer labs, these non-profit groups are able to offer programs that teach, serve, and impact youth in Tennessee.

The goal of the project is to showcase the many educational, healthcare, economic, and communication benefits of broadband use, and to encourage adoption by residents statewide.

Program Facts:

  • To date, C4K has provided over 2,100 computers to vulnerable children and families across Tennessee.

  • C4K is working with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to provide computers to children in the foster care system. Described as “a helping hand, not a handout,” C4K targets high school-aged children recommended by their case managers based on specified behavioral and academic expectations.

  • The program has also provided computers to families who have successfully completed The Department of Human Services Families First Program – a short-term assistance program for families experiencing financial difficulties. These computers assisted families as they got back on their feet and began job searching, learning basic computing skills, and participating in the economic and civic opportunities presented by the Internet.

  • In October 2009, the Northeast Tennessee Technology Council recognized C4K with a “Community Service” award for commitment of time and resources to improve the community through technology.

  • The program recently received $2.3 million in federal funding to provide computers and technology training to youth “aging out” of the foster care system and in Boys & Girls Clubs across Tennessee.

 

Computers 4 Kids, previously known as No Child Left Offline (NCLO), began in 2005 as a computer refurbishing program that was developed as part of the Kentucky Prescription for Innovation, a comprehensive effort to drive economic development through broadband technology. The partnership between Kentucky’s Finance and Administration Cabinet, Kentucky Correctional Industries, and ConnectKentucky refurbished state surplus computers and placed them in the homes of families on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program in economically distressed counties of Kentucky. The program ensured that thousands of state computers were saved from landfills and refurbished for the benefit of families. The program has expanded to include the distribution of brand new computers to community anchor organizations (such as community centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and libraries) to support them as they provide services to vulnerable populations.

Program Facts:

  • To date, C4K has provided over 3,100 computers to vulnerable children and families across Kentucky.

  • C4K received funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to distribute over 2,500 computers to middle school students on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program in about 20 Distressed ARC counties. These distributions were coupled with awareness events.

  • The program has distributed computers to over 30 community anchor institutions in Kentucky. These organizations provide afterschool programming for vulnerable students and their families.

  • Computers 4 Kids leveraged over $2.6 million in cash and in-kind contributions from organizations including Microsoft Corporation, Lexmark International, CA International, American Electric Power Foundation, Environmental Protection Cabinet, Duke Energy, AT&T Foundation, Louisville Metro Council, Hilliard Lyons, Appalachian Regional Commission, University of Louisville, Morehead State University, and iKeepSafe.

  • Recognizing the progressive vision of Computers 4 Kids, the Southern Growth Policy Board (SGPB) awarded ConnectKentucky with its 2006 Innovator Award, citing C4K as an innovative initiative that empowered Kentucky families, one household at a time.