NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– It’s virtually impossible in this day and age for a child to excel in the classroom without having access to a computer at home. But for some families in Connecticut, that’s just not affordable so for more than a decade, one group has helped thousands of families bridge the so-called digital divide.
Curtis Hill started the non-profit Concepts for Adaptive Learning twelve years ago and since the beginning its been dedicated to one very important mission.
“It’s all based on that basic goal of helping public school children improve their education, especially the disadvantaged,” said Hill.
What CFAL does is provide free computers-and the training needed to operate them-to families in New Haven, Bridgeport, Meriden, Waterbury, Hartford and Hamden.
“In that respect what we are doing is we are training parents how to use a computer. Once they complete their training we give them a computer, we install it in their home, we give them a year of technical support and it’s all for two goals. Number one to extend learning beyond the classroom, as you can see that technical tsunami is sweeping education today and if you have a computer and I don’t you have a built in advantage, so we’re closing that gap. The other goal is to increase parents involvement in their children’s education,” said Hill.
CFAL gets the computers for the program from universities like Quinnipiac and Yale, and corporations such as AT&T, UTC and Unilever.
“So, as they go through a technology refresh, they turn their old products over to our organizations and we give them a second life,” said Hill.
As of last month, more than 2,800 parents have gone through the training and received computers… thanks to CFAL.
The program’s success can be measured by the improvement of children in the classroom.
“About 90 percent of the parents indicate that they’ve their involvement and 78 percent say their children’s grades have improved in school,” said Hill.
Closing the digital divide one family at a time.
Concepts for Adaptive Learning gets its funding through grants from corporations and foundations in addition to donations from individuals.
The organization also has an annual fundraising dinner. This year’s is set for September 10th at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven.