Connect Ohio presented the children of the Boys & Girls Club of Clermont County with 10 computers Thursday.
The computers were donated on behalf of the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative Fund, a Connect Ohio initiative to provide a computer and technology connectivity to low-income Appalachian Ohio areas in need.
Recent financial contribution from Intel for the CABI Fund made the computer donation possible and will allow for the Boys & Girls Club to update its computer lab.
“Keeping current with technology and having up to date equipment is important for us to have at our Clubs,” said Jill Cochran, Boys & Girls Club of Clermont County executive director. “A good percentage of our Club members do not have access to the Internet or a computer once they leave school. So much of their schoolwork and social environment is dependent on technology. Being able to offer this resource at our clubs is vital to complete assignments and learn the necessary technology skills to prepare them for higher education and careers.”
The mission of CABI is to pull Appalachia Ohio to within state and national standards in broadband adoption by 2014 by identifying and coordinating resources required for facilitating affordable broadband access and driving adoption through digital literacy.
The CABI Fund was created in January of 2013, administered through the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to provide individuals, corporations, and foundations a platform to participate in the cause to help Appalachian Ohio get connected.
“The CABI Fund has been working to connect Appalachian Ohio over the past year, and we are thrilled to finally be able to make our first computer donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Clermont County,” said Connect Ohio Executive Director Stu Johnson. “Contributions to the CABI Fund are starting to pick-up and it’s great to be able to make an impact beyond the broadband access piece, by making donations that impact technology adoption and use in the region. The equipment available is an important component to broadband adoption and we hope to continue to be able to donate computers regionally.”
Connect Ohio’s research reveals only 53 percent of Appalachian Ohio residents have broadband service in their home, significantly less than the state average of 71 percent. In 2012 more than 20,000 Appalachian Ohio households gained first time access to the Internet in part through the efforts of CABI. The fund was created through initial investment from Chesapeake Energy, and along with Intel’s financial support has allowed the philanthropic effort to come to fruition.
“The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio exists to create opportunities for our region’s citizens,” said Cara Dingus Brook, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio president and CEO. “We’re proud to see the CABI Fund supporting young people in accessing technology. It shows CABI’s dedication to ensuring Appalachian Ohio has the same technological opportunities as the rest of the state and nation.”