Jul 23, 2014 3:12 PM by KATC

Cox Communications funding Boys & Girls Club technology centers

Thanks to a donation from Cox Communications, the kids at Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana now have a modern technology center to use at the organization's Granberry Unit on S. Washington Street.

The new center is just one of seven new similar technology centers created nationwide as part of a $150,000 grant from Cox Communications and The James M. Cox Foundation.

The organization explains that Boys & Girls Clubs of America Club Tech program is intended to ensure a tech-savvy workforce in the future by providing students access to curriculum that advances their computer literacy skills. The installation of technology centers is an effort, the club said, "to bridge the digital divide for children who have no access to a computer or Internet connection at home."

"Cox is dedicated to Lafayette and to providing youth access to technology and best practices for staying safe online," said Cox Communications Executive Director of Operations Julie Simon-Dronet. "The Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana play such a vital role in our communities. Throughout the school year and during the summer, these clubs are safe and educational environments for our youth where they can spend time with other youth and with caring adults who enrich their lives and help build their character," she continued.

Valued at $25,000, each Boys & Girls Club Technology Center includes state-of-the-art computers, along with desktops, monitors, printers, docking stations, wireless routers, wireless cards, and proprietary Microsoft and Club Tech software. Through the Club Tech suite of programs, kids learn the basics of business software, plus stay safe online and move on to advanced hardware and networking skills. In addition, Cox provides free high-speed Internet to BGCA wherever Cox Communications serves.

"Our partnership with Cox Communications is important in today's society, where a child's success in life may be determined by exposure to technology. The computers and other assistance by Cox provide a means for Boys & Girls Clubs to close the technological achievement gap for many disadvantaged youth. We greatly value that partnership," said Chris Martin, Chief Professional Officer for BGCA.

"To be productive citizens in the 21st century, young people need digital access for professional and academic success," said Dr. Damon A. Williams, Senior Vice President, Program, Training and Youth Development Services at BGCA. "More than 75 percent of colleges take their applications online, and nearly all Fortune 500 companies post new jobs through their websites. No one should have to apply for a job on a smartphone."



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