Annual CTEP AmeriCorps Civic Engagement Presentations

2016 CE Presentations Blog Post PhotoEvery year CTEP AmeriCorps members choose community action projects that make a contribution to bridging the digital divide. Please join them on Friday, August 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, where their members will share their accomplishments and struggles in creating community change through their projects. Feel free to swing by earlier for informal networking starting at 9 a.m; bagels and coffee will be served.

The Saint Paul Neighborhood Network’s AmeriCorps program, the Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) bridges the “digital divide” for immigrant communities, low-income residents and persons with disabilities in the Twin Cities. AmeriCorps members help youth and adults use technology to access social, civic, educational and economic opportunities.

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Here is a glimpse of this year’s civic engagement projects:

  • Technological Inclusion for Hard of Hearing and Deaf Communities
    This project focused on providing technology skills education to older adults in the Hard of Hearing and Deaf community through one-on-one computer coaching sessions and iPad classes. Community Partner: Ebenezer Park and Tower Apartments
  • Stop! Animate! 
    A three week stop-motion animation camp for the youth at CLUES. The participants worked together in small groups to create short animated films completely from scratch.Community Partners: Communidades Latinos Unidas en Servicio (CLUES), SPNN, Independent Film Project
  • Building an Online Instructional Resource for Low-Educated Learners
    This research project, and the resulting intervention, supported CTEP members so they can better serve low-educated English Language Learners and boost digital literacy outcomes for partnering community based organizations. We developed an online environment to be flexible and adaptable for instructors as well provide relevant accessible learning resources to students. Community Partner: Jen Vanek, Northstar Digital Literacy Project
  • Adult ELL iPad Camera Class
    A class for Adult ELL students focused on introducing basic photography concepts with an iPad. Community Partner: Hmong American Partnership
  • Twin Cities Techettes 
    A two-week summer camp that challenges participants to solve real-life STEM problems, develop technology skills that are necessary for life beyond high school, and explore STEM opportunities. Community Partners: Arlington Hills Community Library and Maplewood Library
  • Connecting Parents to Schools
    Connecting Parents to Schools aims to teach parents with low technology literacy how to use these school websites and applications so they can be more involved in their children’s educations. Community Partners: Wayzata School District and Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners
  • Engaging with Technology at the RMDH School
    Our Civic Engagement team has been working for the past year to find ways of engaging the Ronald McDonald House School in daily technology use in their classroom. Through lesson planning using iPads and interactive SmartBoard activities, we hope to give the kids a chance to express their creativity through the use of technology. Community Partner: Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities
  • Aiding and Advancing the Presence of Participatory Action Research in St. Paul Public Schools
    Participatory Action Research (or PAR) allows students to collaborate with community partners, mentors and school faculty to conduct situated research on the issues affecting their local neighborhood communities. Over the course of the year, we provided teachers and students with hands-on technical support during planning and facilitation of PAR projects, while documenting existing financial resources and teaching networks to support future PAR projects. Community Partners: Gordon Parks High School, Battle Creek Middle School, Como Middle School, and Open World Learning High Middle School.
  • Digital Storytelling Initiative
    The Digital Storytelling Initiative is a series of summer camps at the St. Paul Public Libraries that connects youth with technical and creative skills necessary for telling their stories through media, with teaching artists and mentors supporting their projects. Community Partners:  St. Paul Public Libraries, Createch, MN Computers for Schools, Science Museum of Minnesota, SPNN, and numerous local artists providing their expertise and local businesses providing in-kind donations.

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$35 Million in Broadband Funding Available

DEED Header

For Immediate Release
July 1, 2016
Contact: Monte Hanson, 651-259-7149
[email protected]

~DEED will begin taking applications on July 22~

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin taking applications on July 22 for funding to expand broadband infrastructure in Minnesota.

The $35 million in funding, which was approved during the 2016 legislative session, goes into effect with the beginning of the 2017 fiscal year today. DEED will award grants through its Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program to pay for up to 50 percent of project development costs in unserved and underserved areas of the state. A maximum of $5 million per grant will be available.

Officials estimate that an additional 12,000 Minnesota households will receive high-speed internet once the projects are completed.

“Broadband isn’t nice, it’s necessary if we want Minnesota’s economy to work for everyone, everywhere in the state,” said Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. “This new investment will connect small businesses to customers, students to learning opportunities, and patients to their doctors. This is an important investment, but we have a long way to go before we achieve the governor’s goal of border-to-border broadband internet access. Next legislative session we need to build on this progress so that all Minnesotans have access to the basic infrastructure of the 21st century.”

“Broadband is an important economic development tool,” added DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Communities that have strong broadband systems in place are more likely to attract new residents and businesses.”

The new round of funding brings the state’s total investment since the Border–to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program was created in May 2014 to $65.4 million. DEED awarded $19.4 million to 17 broadband projects in Minnesota last February and another $11 million for 15 Minnesota projects in November. Gov. Mark Dayton had requested $100 million from the Legislature in the latest funding round.

Under the new funding, $5 million will be targeted for underserved areas of the state and $500,000 for projects that propose to expand the availability and adoption of broadband service to areas that contain a significant proportion of low-income households.

DEED will accept applications for the new funding through Oct. 3. More details about the program and the process for applying are available here on the DEED website.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

Upon request, the information in this news release can be made available in alternative
formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Communications Office
Phone 651-259-7149 or 1-800-657-3858 ∙ TTY 1-800-657-3973
An equal opportunity employer and service provider.

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Releases Annual Report

Report contains policy recommendations,
including $200 million for the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program and updated speed goals

February 3, 2016

The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband released its 2016 Annual Report today, which includes recommendations for Governor Dayton, the legislature, and other policy makers to consider in the 2016 Legislative Session.

The recommendations outlined in the report are aimed at ensuring every Minnesotan has access to broadband, and include $200 million in funding for the Border-to-Border Broadband Grand Development Program and an update to the state’s outdated speed goals.

The full report can be found here.

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