Teens Learn to Teach Seniors About the Internet
Google contributed grant money for the Kansas City program, which will match teens with seniors who want to learn about going online and using the Internet.Google Fiber arrived in Kansas City in the fall of 2012, and now Google is helping to get more people—particularly senior citizens—up to speed on using the Internet so they also can take advantage of the super high-speed fiber service. To do that, Arts Tech, a Kansas City, Mo.-based youth organization that works with underserved urban teens to help them develop marketable artistic and technical skills, is using grant funds from Google Fiber and other organizations to train a group of local teens so that they can then teach senior citizens about using computers and the Internet. The program, which is providing training for the teens right now, was unveiled by Dave Sullivan, the executive director of Arts Tech, in an April 14 post on the Google Fiber Blog. The Arts Tech project to match teens and seniors for technology lessons is being funded by the Kansas City Digital Inclusion Fund, a pool of money that was made available to nonprofit organizations that want to close the digital divide, wrote Sullivan. The funding comes from Google, The Sprint Foundation and other groups.
When Sullivan heard about the funding possibilities, he envisioned a local project that could match the 44 percent of seniors in the area who don't use the Internet with the 93 percent of local teens who use the Internet regularly, he wrote. "My colleagues were excited by the idea; after all, it fits right in with our mission to help urban teens develop technical skills. But I was really blown away by the excitement and enthusiasm our teens showed. Dozens of them said they'd want to participate in a program like this."