Temple University recently opened its Digital Equity Center to provide access to computers, technology support and free digital literacy education to residents of surrounding neighborhoods in North Philadelphia.
The purpose of the project is to recycle the university’s old computers so local community members from eight nearby ZIP codes can use them. The center has a computer lab, classroom and multipurpose room, which are open to the public and will provide job training and career readiness programs. Temple also plans to use funding from Dell Technologies to create a community help desk and digital navigator office at the center to help people use the refurbished technology. The center has already distributed more than 200 of the 600 computers and laptops it plans to provide to community members by the end of the year.
“We are committed to bridging the digital divide in North Philadelphia,” Gregory Mandel, provost at Temple, said in a press release. “Through this new center, we will be able to ensure that children can keep up with their schoolwork. We will be able to help their parents receive free continuing education. And, perhaps most importantly, we will be able to bring families together to enjoy cultural programs, workshops and concerts on their computers, tablets and phones.”