Many people know the KEYSPOT centers provide free access to technology and internet access. What most people don’t know is that KEYSPOTs also offer innovative computer training to help residents improve digital skills.
In September, OAE visited Lutheran Settlement House, one of six KEYSPOTS funded by the City. LSH joined the KEYSPOT network two years ago, opening a computer lab on the second floor of their location at 1340 Frankford Avenue. Farrah Parkes, the Director of Education, Technology and Job Readiness, has seen the LSH KEYSPOT program from its start.
“LSH has been committed to adult education for a long time,” Parkes shares. She was excited to help continue this by establishing digital literacy programs with help from OAE and the KEYSPOT network.
Now, LSH KEYSPOT in Frankford offers regular computer classes, such as computer basics and Microsoft word through a grant from OAE. LSH provides special programs like, Pathways to Employment, a two-part credit seminar and job search boot camp.
The LSH KEYSPOT also host a variety of community events like the recent Digital Connection Day in partnership with Assurance Wireless and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Revenue where community members learned how to access City services online.
This summer, LSH was one of 8 organizations to receive the Philadelphia Digital Literacy Alliance award of $25,000 for the Resources & Resilience Digital Education Project. The project will provide homeless women with real world training on how to use technology and online tools to address housing employment and parenting needs.
“These grants will allow the city to build on existing digital initiatives, such as KEYSPOT by giving organizations further opportunities to develop creative programs in their neighborhoods,” said Andrew Buss, the Innovative Director for the City’s Technology Office.