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Connected Nation’s Connected Tennessee Garners Federal Grant to Help Provide Technology to Disadvantaged Youth

In Tennessee, the work to connect the entire state just received a major boost, thanks to $2.3 million in federal funding.

Today, Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids program was awarded $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

BTOP provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.

The Computers 4 Kids grant will be used in efforts to increase sustainable broadband adoption and provide computers and training to nearly 60,000 disadvantaged youth across Tennessee.

Specifically, the project intends to focus on economically vulnerable youth in Tennessee by deploying laptops, academic support programs, and workforce training to two disparate, but especially at-risk populations: those in the state’s foster care system that are “aging out” as they turn 18 and youth that are active in the state’s 76 Boys & Girls Clubs.

The project plans to provide younger children in the Boys & Girls Clubs with broadband access in a safe environment via its Club Tech program, supported by software provider Microsoft.

“This project is going to connect thousands of Tennessee young people who would otherwise not have access to the vast resources afforded by a high-speed Internet connection,” said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. “The project will create new educational opportunities and provide vital career training that will empower youth with the tools they need to achieve their goals in a way not previously available to them.”

Already, Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids program has donated more than 2,000 computers to children, families, and communities throughout Tennessee.

To read the project description,
visit the NTIA website.