PCC partners with Housing Authority for first Digital Inclusion class

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by Elizabeth Townsend

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Piedmont Community College (PCC) awarded fifteen Roxboro Housing Authority (RHA) residents with Certificates of Achievement for completing their first 10-week Digital Inclusion Computer course.

In 2018, RHA joined with ConnectHomes/EveryoneOn, a national nonprofit working to eliminate the digital divide by creating digital equity for low income residents in public housing communities. Joining the housing authority in this effort were loca partners: Mayor Merilyn Newell; County Commissioner Ray Jeffers; Dr. Doris Carver, Piedmont Community College; City Manager Brooks Lockhart; Cheryll Lopez, SunTrust Bank; Becky Schneider, Person County Library; and Sybil Tate, former Assistant County Manager.

RHA’s initial goal was to focus on seniors and those with disabilities who were less likely to have internet to provide them with the ability to access family and healthcare providers. The agency later open this opportunity to families with children.

Residents completing were Mildred Jackson, Dorothy Moore, Deborah Carver, Brenda Winstead, Gladys Woods, Charlene Wilson, Ann Satterfield, Alcena Timmons, Veader Pulliam, Towanda Odom, Terreria Outlaw, Francie Barnett, Shirley Walker, Belleria Rivers, and Willie Barnett.

Perfect Attendance certificates were awarded to Mildred Jackson, Dorothy Moore, Brenda Winstead, Charlene Wilson, Alcena Timmons, Veader Pulliam, Francie Barnett, Belleria Rivers, and Willie Barnett.

By completing the course, residents qualified for a free digital device and can access free WIFI provided by the agency. PCC partnered with RHA to conduct the digital literacy course, taught by instructor Dr. Alfred Faulkner at its Business Development Center. The curriculum included basic computer skills; how to use the mouse; keyboarding; accessing the Internet; setting up and accessing email accounts; using Microsoft Word; creating, saving, and printing documents; job searching; and the role of the importance of information technology.

The laptops, with accessories, were made possible by a GitHub Micro Grant awarded to the Roxboro Housing Authority. The laptops were distributed in February during a special celebration. “This was a groundbreaking opportunity for RHA but more importantly, for our residents. They put in the work and the effort and deserve recognition for their commitment to complete the course, even some having perfect attendance,” stated Annie Graham, Resident Opportunity Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Coordinator. “We hope to offer this opportunity to more residents in the Spring.”

Free ridership through PATS was a contributing factor to resident’s ability to complete the course. For more photos, visit www.facebook.com/piedmontcc.

Front Image Photo: Dr. Doris Carver, Vice President Continuing Education, Piedmont Community College; Felts Lewis, Executive Director, Roxboro Housing Authority; Belleria Rivers, student

Belleria Rivers-RHA student-web.JPG