By Bill Parry
A nonprofit community group in Woodside is taking a big stride toward bridging the digital divide with the help of a media giant.
Woodside on the Move had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for its new high-tech Learning Lab, thanks to a $55,000 grant from Time Warner Cable.
“No one in our community should be left behind in this digital age because of cultural or economic barriers,” Woodside on the Move Executive Director Adrian Bordoni said.
The newly renovated, state-of-the-art center is at the Main Office, at 59-42 59th St., and it now contains 20 Lenovo Yoga 2-in-1 laptops and tablets, 10 iPads and six iMacs, all using broadband speed Business Class Internet from Time Warner.
Also included in the package is Final Cut Pro editing, a surround sound system and a new floor for the Learning Lab.
Time Warner Vice President Brian Kelly approached U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) with the idea to help a Queens nonprofit in January. The congressman pointed Kelly toward Woodside on the Move, a grassroots community organization dedicated to neighborhood improvement through youth development, senior services, tenant advocacy and arts and cultural programs.
“Woodside on the Move has been filling in the cracks around here since 1976,” Crowley said. “And now Time Warner is helping them fill in one more crack.”
The entire community will benefit from the Learning Lab, according to Bordoni.
“We’ll have computer classes for all ages, from after-school kids to grandparents who can finally sit down and learn computers at their own pace,” he said. “We’ll have job and résumé preparation and business seminars, housing clients can look for apartments and parents will have the means to file online applications for universal pre-K.”
The new Learning Lab will also be available to veterans.
“We’re going to help veterans old and new,” Bordoni said. “Those just coming home will be able to use these facilities, too. Hopefully, it can help them get re-acclimated.”
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) was on hand at the ribbon-cutting.
“We’ve helped allocate nearly $1 million for this organization, and Woodside on the Move deserves it,” he said. “The reason that this is so important is that Woodsiders deserve a connection to the world, to be competitive in that world and marketplace.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.