Connected Tennessee has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee since 2010 as a part of the Computers 4 Kids: Preparing Tennessee's Next Generation for Success project. The C4K program deploys computers, academic support programs, and workforce training to two disparate, but especially at-risk, populations: those in the state's foster care system who are "aging out" as they turn 18, and youth who are active in the state's 76 Boys & Girls Clubs. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded program will impact the lives of nearly 60,000 youth across the state throughout the life of the grant -- providing a helping hand to youth that are working hard to attain a better life for themselves.
"We are the largest club in the state, serving approximately 385 to 400 children on a regular basis, and any assistance we can get to help our children is welcomed and appreciated," said Rutherford County Boys and Girls Clubs Chief Professional Todd Bale.
"This program positively impacted the lives of over 100 youth this summer and we hope to exceed that number this school year," said Rutherford/Bedford County Boys and Girls Clubs Area Director Roger Harrell. "These printers will go a long way toward helping those children."
"We're thrilled to be able to put the tools at the fingertips of these children, so they can learn the skills that are going to help them go on to pursue an education to get the job of their dreams, to start a business, to be productive members of society," said Connected Tennessee State Operations Manager Deanna Ward. "Most of us just take technology for granted, but for children who do not have it available at home to be able to do their homework on a computer and print it at the Boys and Girls Clubs is huge."
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Over the past two years, the Computers 4 Kids project has:
* Awarded more than 2,100 computers to youth in need across the state
* Impacted all 76 of the state's Boys & Girls Clubs
* Provided computers to more than 1,400 foster youth aging out of the Department of Children's Services program
* Allowed the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee youth to complete nearly 20,000 hours of computer training
* Reached all 95 counties in Tennessee
The "Preparing Tennessee's Next Generation for Success" project is a result of a $2.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant awarded to the C4K program in August 2010 by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). BTOP provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.
For more information, go to http://www.connectedtn.org.