From left, Alderman Bobby Barnett, Alderman Chuck Lovell, the Rev. Quill Brabham, Deanna Ward, Mayor Allen Barker, Morning Star Baptist Church Secretary Kathleen Smith, and Parks and Recreation Director Barry Bunn.
Connected Tennessee’s West Tennessee State Operations Manager Deanna Ward attended the opening celebration of the Stigall Center of Morning Star Baptist Church, presenting five new printers as a gift for its youth center.
The Stigall Center tutors youth from 15 to 18 years old and functions similarly to the local Boys & Girls Club but does not take children under the age of 13. The five printers donated to the Stigall Center are part of a donation made by Lexmark International to Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids program.
Kentucky-based Lexmark provided a total of 250 printers to the C4K program that have been distributed across the state in the last year.
As 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 who are working hard to attain a better life for themselves. Occasionally, the C4K program will also donate printers to local and state organizations, such as the Stigall Center, that focuses on educating and empowering youth, individuals, and families in the state.
“I really appreciate the support from Connected Tennessee. The new printers will allow us to offer printing capabilities sooner than we would have otherwise,” said Humboldt Mayor Allen Barker. ”When you are operating a grassroots effort, it’s great to have partners like Connected Tennessee.”
In five years, the Computers 4 Kids program has:
- Awarded more than 5,050 computers to youth in need across the state
- Supported all 76 of the state’s Boys & Girls Clubs
- Provided computers to nearly 3,500 foster youth aging out of the Department of Children’s Services program
- Allowed the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee youth to complete more than 90,000 hours of computer training in 2012 alone
- Impacted 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 Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. BTOP provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.