Helping to Close the Digital Divide

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As a Seattle resident, I’m proud that Seattle ranks 2nd among the most literate cities in the U.S., just behind Washington D.C.  As a member of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, I’m proud of the City’s efforts toward increasing digital literacy rates, as well.

The City’s Technology Matching Grant is one way of doing so.

Currently our Department of Information Technology (DoIT) is seeking applicants from Seattle organizations and community groups for its annual Technology Matching Fund grants of up to $20,000 for technology access and literacy, or use of tech tools for civic engagement and community building.

The application deadline is April 3rd. 

The Technology Matching Fund supports technology literacy access and civic engagement projects that reach technology underserved communities, thereby increasing “digital inclusion.”

The City’s grant program goals are:

Technology Literacy and Access:

* Empower technology underserved communities so that all residents have the technology skills necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services;

* Increase technology literacy;

* Increase access to computers, the Internet, and other information technology; and

* Increase the creation of relevant online content.

Civic Engagement:

* Engage individuals not usually involved in the civic process; and

* Increase residents’ use of technology for civic engagement and community building by integrating technology tools into activities to increase awareness of community issues, to increase community problem solving and to increase interaction with government.

Descriptions of past projects are available from DoIT’s web site.

I encourage you to spread the word and, in turn, encourage those you suspect might be interested to consider applying.

The Fund is administered by the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology and is supported through cable franchise fees. The Technology Matching Fund was established in 1997.

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