Spectrum has launched a new outreach program opening Spectrum Learning Labs at three community-based organizations in Queens in recent weeks.
The company provides computers, printers and other internet gear, along with Spectrum Internet Service, so the organizations can offer advanced computer training to its members, either children or seniors, those seeking to advance their computer skills.
The first ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School (REACS) in Jamaica where nearly 75 percent of its students are classified as economically disadvantaged and do not have access to computers at home. This lab enhances REACS’ mission to prepare students for advanced learning. Parents and primary caregivers will also have access to the computers free of charge.
“This lab affords our students the opportunity to remain current and keep pace with the rapid technical advances of the 21st century,” REACS Founder and CEO Calvin Rice said. “Without this grant our students would fall victim to the digital divide plaguing low-income communities throughout the U.S.”
State Senator James Sanders appreciated the company’s efforts.
“This Spectrum Learning Lab will help our youth engage in technology in a healthy and productive way and is a welcomed addition to our community,” he said. “We must do all we can to help out young people prepare to compete in a global economy.”
A few days later, Spectrum and the South East Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST) opened a second lab in Jamaica.
“Words cannot describe the excitement and pride SAFEST has for this new learning center,” SAFEST Founder and CEO Mazeda A. Uddin said. “We are an organization at the center of assisting our immigrant communities. From training to worker development we provide for those who are trying to live their American dream.”
Next up was the opening of a Spectrum Learning Lab at Life Camp Inc. in South Jamaica.
“It’s important to take young people to another level through technology and the Learning Lab is a conduit to access and a pathway to keep them engaged,” Life Camp Inc. CEO Erica Ford said. “Life Camp works with youth that are seeking positive reinforcement. Not only can we help narrow the digital divide but we are offering an alternative lifestyle.”
Each of the three centers were provided Spectrum Internet and TV services at no charge. The company’s commitment also included additional computer equipment and software, flat-screen HDTVs and other furnishings.
“Spectrum is proud to provide the state-of-the-art technologies needed in order for its students to learn the digital skills to be competitive in today’s rapidly changing world,” Spectrum Vice President of Governmental Affairs in NYC Rodney Capel said. “Though Spectrum Learning Labs, the possibilities of growth and exploration are limitless.”
Spectrum and its parent company, Charter, plan to open 40 such centers across the city by 2020.