One of the goals of the Computer Olympics is to help in our Digital Inclusion efforts to provide every American family, in spite of their income, with an Internet ready computer and broadband Internet accessibility in their home. At this time we cannot reach every family so we support community base organizations that provide important services to their community. Therefore, during each Computer Olympics we provide Internet ready computer labs to deserving organizations.
The Computer Olympics 2009 Computer Lab Recipients Is:
The Vietnamese Community Services Center:
Kim Nguyen, Executive Director, contacted our organization and asked if we could help provide the service center with up-dated Internet ready computers. Kim stated that they are seeking computers for computer classes and a few for staff usage. Our goal is to help seniors gain ability of doing simple computer operations and use computers as a communication tool to do research, email and general Internet usage.
The Center provides social services, daily nutritious hot meals, educational and cultural activities in a supportive, fun and safe environment. All services are free of charge. We have served thousands of seniors over the past 20 years and requests for services have grown dramatically in recent years. While seniors who patronize the center are primarily Vietnamese, the organization enforces a non-discriminatory policy. We provide social, educational and cultural enrichment to low-income senior citizens by offering daily activities in a supportive, fun and safe environment. All services are free of charge. We have served thousands of seniors over the past 20 years and requests for services have grown dramatically in recent years. While seniors who patronize the center are primarily Vietnamese, the organization enforces a non-discriminatory entrance policy and is open to anyone regardless of race, color, ancestry, religious belief or sexual orientation. Our center is open Monday day through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm. The center is supported by neighborhood groups, elected officials, small business and a group of volunteers. Without our senior program many of our seniors would be placed in pricey nursing homes they can ill afford. The program weekly schedule as the following:
|09:00 ˇV 10:00
||Art & Craft
|10:00 ˇV 12:00
|12:00 ˇV 13:00
|13:00 ˇV 14:00
||Monthly Birthday Party
||Fun & Beauty
Computer Lab Recipients:
Recipient ˇ§No More Victims Incˇ¨:
No More Victims, Inc, an advocacy program for infants and children of incarcerated parents, celebrated the High school graduation of 40 of its members. The 08 class was the largest graduating class during No More Victimˇ¦s eight years existence. On May 30th with the help of donors Bridging The Digital Divide delivered and setup a 10 station computer lab in No More Victims facility on the North East side of Houston. Channel 2 News cover the story about local rappers helping in the celebration of the 40 graduates. We did not know that the No More Victims story had been made into a Lifetime movie called Fighting the Odds: The Marilyn Gambrell Story. After I recruited my sons to help us setup the lab I showed them Channel 2ˇ¦s coverage of No More Victims graduation celebration. The boys informed me that they had seen a movie about the organization on Lifetime.
No More Victims:
2007 Recipient ˇ§Fort Adobe
A Speech & Hearing Schoolˇ¨:
Fort Adobe serves special needs children and is located in Baytown Texas. Fort Abode received 10 computers and computer tables (tables built by Boy Scouts from Troop 354 of Houston). The computers we upgraded in February 2009. Donna Denny, director of Fort Adobe, informed us that the children loved the computers and are really benefiting from having access to the pre-k educational programs that were provided with the computers. Fort Adobe serves hundreds of children a year and the majority of them do not have computers. We are committed to providing a computer to specials needs children and additionally, we are committed to helping Fort Adobe. Once a month our organization donates a computer to a family who has a child with specials needs. Donna Denny sent pictures of some of the children utilizing the computers at their homes. Many of the children that received computers attended Donnaˇ¦s speech & hearing program and it is through this effort that Donna heard about our initiative. It is a blessing for our organization to help children with special needs acquire access to computers. Donna contacted us and informed us that the children love the computers and were really benefiting from having access to the pre-k educational programs donated with the computers. She also informed us that Fort Adobe is a therapy facility that provides extended school year programs (summer school) and after school programs as well as individual and group therapy programs for children between the ages of 2 1/2 thru 12 years of age.
Below, Donna explains the important role computers play in the development of special needs children:
Computer's Role in Speech Therapy
1. Assessment, Therapy/Training, & Measurement
2. Provide new modalities for understanding sounds, words
3. Help develop perception of basic speech (voicing, understanding sounds and words)
4. Motivational tool to promote the desire to improve in understanding concepts and communication
5. Positive feedback in an interactive environment versus a self-conscious repetitive drill (less self-conscious than a face-to-face environment and more willing to work for longer periods of time on a computer).
6. The computer allows independence with a non-threatening feedback resource placing the responsibility back onto the clientˇ¦s shoulders allowing more involvement in judging themselves.
7. You can see something occurring versus being told something is correct or incorrect in a more entertaining manner (less likely to argue with a computer or challenge an ˇ§interpretationˇ¨ of scoring, too)
8. Application (carry over) is more evident as the client is more apt to perform a task more often working with a computer lab than with an instructor alone
9. With any visual display tool, the therapist is still an integral part of the entire process ˇK determining the appropriate program and making appropriate modifications for language age, application, etcs.
Example: As an adjunct to specialized speech therapy giving both visual and auditory feedback in word to sentence level activities.
(a) Picture Identification, Picture Matching, Articulation, Sentence Formulation
(b) Cause and effect, Visual/Auditory Discrimination and Identification
Fort Adobe A Speech & Hearing School:
Recipient: ˇ§Blue Triangle Community Centerˇ¨:
The Blue Triangle is a community based organization located in the former Y. W. C. A. Building on McGowen road in southeast Houston. The organization restored and reopened the center and now offers youth and adult programs, and provides space for other groups. We first provided computers to the Blue Triangle in 2005 after the Triangle took in Hurricane Katrina victims. The victims lived and slept in the Triangles Gym and utilized the computers we provided for searches for missing relatives and friends, finding housing and employment, email and access to FEMA and other government related services. We up-graded the computer lab in March 2009. The former Y. W. C. A. Building is considered a Texas Historic Landmark.