Access to high quality internet and the ability to use it is a human right. Without this access, BIPOC and low income families will be left behind. Our in-person Digital Literacy workshops are designed to support parents who have little-to-no working knowledge of how to use computers so that they can engage with their child’s education in a meaningful way. These intensive, two-hour sessions help people (mostly Spanish speaking mother’s) with very basic skills. Many parents’ report feeling shame and depression because of the need to monitor student learning on devices with which they’re unfamiliar. Our main goal is to demystify technology, by showing parents that they can begin to gain competency one step at a time. With the Digital Literacy skills obtained through our workshop, not only will parents more effectively support their students, participants will gain access to a world of information, resources, and opportunities that they have never had before – creating new avenues for social and economic development. Additionally, Impact Technology trains parent leaders to facilitate small group and one-on-one workshops with parents in the community thus creating of a cadre of parent leaders at the local level.
Shoreline Connectivity Project
The Shoreline Connectivity Project is part of a collaborative to bridge the digital divide in West Marin – specifically focusing on lower-income households. 25 Marin County families now have access to high-speed internet and 25 other families are lined up to receive the same boost in digital access. The digital divide became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools switched to online education out of public health necessity. Within the Shoreline Unified School District, which serves families in the northern rural areas of Marin reaching up to Sonoma County, there were more than 40 families who urgently needed internet service to participate in online classes. With urgency to provide a solution quickly to address new challenges brought on by the pandemic the Parent Services Project, Marin County Free Library, Marin County Information Services and Technology (IST) department, Marin Community Foundation, West Marin Fund, and Pinkus Family Foundation came together to explore broadband service enhancements through Starlink Technology.