Project Connect (http://cs.calvin.edu/activities/connect/) provides basic computers and information literacy to people in the Grand Rapids area by providing low-cost technology training classes and computers for all participants. The vision is to share the goal of connecting families to IT resources that they can use to support themselves.
Calvin College has offered a Basic computer administration course through Project Connect every summer since 2001, serving roughly 20 families each year (70% African-American, 10% Hispanic, 20% Caucasian), and has provided limited computer support after the class.
So far, Project Connect has focused on community groups known to the Department of Computer Science with limited support for the Connect families after they've completed the class sessions. We'd like to change that by:
The course has been run by Department of Computer Science, largely on a pro bono basis, though some support has been received from the Calvin Alumni Association and the Calvin Summer Research Fellowship program, and it has provided 24 computers with basic OS software each year. We are currently developing a practicum course that would allow Calvin students to become involved. This, however, is the limit of our ability to support the program.
We would like to increase the size of the program to around 48 families per year, which would give us the critical mass we need to address our goals. This will require consistent sources for the another 24 used machines per year and money for support staff and supplemental hardware and software.
If you would like to take part in this project, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the department office at 616-526-7163. Many thanks.