Comprenew’s new computers-for-parents program helps financially challenged families acquire a home computer and training. Comprenew’s goal is to close the digital divide while setting up families for success.
Comprenew launched a pilot program last fall to address the digital divide that exists in our community. The computers-for-parents program is called This Is My Computer™ (TIMC) and is being offered to parents of school-age children in Grand Rapids area schools.
“For low-income families, a home computer may be their only way to obtain information about their own health and community resources, search for jobs, and further their education,” said Scott Vander Kooy, Comprenew President. “Plus, children from families with home computers statistically do better in school.”
Seven parents signed up for the first TIMC training class last fall. Each parent went through 15 hours of training, and received a computer to take home at the end of their session. The program teaches participants how to:
- Use Excel to create personal budgets
- Use Microsoft Word to write resumes and articles
- Write and send emails
- Conduct research online
- Become confident and comfortable using technology
Cost: Participants pay $50. Payments can be made throughout their session. At the end of the session, participants receive a computer package to take home. The package includes:
- A flat-panel monitor
- Accessories (keyboard and mouse)
- Microsoft Windows 7 Pro
- Microsoft Office
- One-year warranty with local Comprenew support
The TIMC program is growing. Comprenew initially partnered with Parent University, which already had a wide range of classes in Grand Rapids Public Schools, and was interested in adding computer training.
Last fall a total of three classes were completed. Twenty-five people graduated and received computers at the end of training from the Comprenew-Parent University classes.
This winter, five more classes were held. Forty more parents completed the training and went home with computers.
Currently, another round of sessions is being offered in the Grand Rapids area, and more are in the works. Comprenew is also talking with potential partners in Kalamazoo, Lansing, Detroit and Chicago about the Comprenew TIMC computer-training program.
To find out how your organization can host TIMC classes, or if you would like to participate and join a session, please contact Jerry Ford at (616) 451-4400.
Comprenew celebrates 30 years of giving back to the community through educational outreach programs, recycling of electronics, data security, computer and mobile-device repair services, and selling affordable refurbished electronics to residents and corporations. As a nonprofit organization, Comprenew’s mission is to inspire environmental care, and to increase vocational preparedness through education for all people and segments of society, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or status, through best-practice technology recycling services. Comprenew is the only nonprofit electronics recycler based in Michigan, and one of four in the world, that holds both R2 and e-Steward certifications.