Kramden Receives Spectrum Digital Education Grant

We are thrilled to announce the Kramden is one of the nonprofit organizations that Charter Communications chose to receive the Spectrum Digital Education Grant. The funding will be used to offer 6 rounds of our digital literacy classes to senior citizens in Orange, Wake, and Durham counties in 2018.

To learn more about the Spectrum DIgital Education Grant, check out the press release from Charter below.

STAMFORD, Conn.Nov. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today announced winners of its Spectrum Digital Education Grants, a new philanthropic initiative designed to support nonprofit organizations that educate community members on the benefits of broadband and how to use it to improve their lives. These grants totaling approximately $400,000 are part of a $1 million commitment to provide digital education in Charter communities through financial grants. Additionally, Charter is committed to PSAs, workshops and webinars to local nonprofit organizations.

Charter received more than 200 eligible grant applications and awarded Digital Education grants to 17 nonprofit organizations.

Below is a complete list of award winners:

  1. Austin Free-Net
  2. Central Florida Urban League
  3. Connected Nation
  4. DANEnet
  5. E2D, Inc. – Eliminate the Digital Divide
  6. Keystone Community Services
  7. Kramden Institute
  8. LA’s BEST
  9. LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc.
  10. San Diego Futures Foundation
  11. Shenango Valley Urban League, Inc.
  12. St. Louis Arc
  13. The Oasis Institute
  14. Urban League of Greater Kansas City
  15. Urban League of Rochester, NY, Inc.
  16. Waipahu Community Association
  17. Westcott Community Center

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the interest generated and the quality of the submissions received for the Spectrum Digital Education Grant Program,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Charter Communications. “After careful review, we are confident that the selected organizations will help further our mission to provide communities in need with the necessary tools to grow and prosper in the digital age.”

Spectrum is committed to improving communities and impacting lives where our customers and employees live, work and play.  We do this through our two signature programs, Spectrum Digital Education – focusing on helping families and seniors learn more about digital technology in underrepresented communities, and Spectrum Housing Assist – with the goal of making 25,000 homes safer and healthier by the year 2020.

The latest news, resources, and information regarding Charter Communications’ philanthropic initiatives and events, can be found at responsibility.spectrum.com.

 

Eric has been part of the Kramden team since 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Development and Marketing.

Coders Club Celebrates 18 months

Last February, Kramden volunteers Ashlyn VanDine and her father Ken began Kramden Coders Club. After 18 months, 12 club meetings, and 2 Intro to Programming workshops, more than 100 middle school students from all over the Triangle have taken part in fun programming projects. Ashlyn, who is entering 8th grade at Rogers-Herr Middle School and is a Kramden SuperGeek, writes:
“In Coders Club, we’ve had some great fun with the Raspberry Pi computers, learning about Python as well as physical computing. We’ve built a laser tripwire using light sensors and LED lights. We’ve worked with buttons, lights, resistors, and buzzers. We’ve learned how to interface with Minecraft Pi using Python, making a teleport button which would teleport the player to a location when the physical button is pushed. We’ve created puzzle boxes and games using the motion sensors and LEDs on the Sense HAT attachment, and programmed music in Sonic Pi.”
 We’re grateful to the Raleigh ISSA chapter for donating 10 Raspberry Pi computer kits, and to the many volunteers who have helped out at club meetings. Coders Club meets again this month.

Kramden Computers in Kentucky

 

25 Kramden computers are being put to use by the Housing Authority of Bowling Green. Check out the article below from the Bowling Green Daily News to learn more.

 

“Housing Authority Gets New Computers” by Justin Story

In an effort to increase accessibility, the Housing Authority of Bowling Green received 25 new computers for its two computer labs.

Charter Communications donated the desktop computers, and an event Thursday at the housing authority’s learning center marked the occasion.

Kathye Gumm, project manager for the housing authority, said the new computers, which have been installed in the labs, are essential for children and adults who rely increasingly on the internet.

 “The kids all have homework they have to do and adults come in to do job searches,” Gumm said. “These computers will get a lot of use.”

In addition to the many after-school and summer learning programs for students, the learning center computer labs are often used by people who file their taxes in the early months of the year, Gumm said.

The Reach Higher Welfare to Work Program also makes use of the computer labs.

Participants in the program work in a housing authority department for 30 hours a week and take part in four weekly hours of job and life-skills training at the lab.

“If you don’t have access to the internet, you’re going to fall behind,” Gumm said.

 Along with the donated computers, Charter announced the introduction of a high-speed broadband internet service aimed at low-income households.

Spectrum Internet Assist will be available to families with students who participate in the National School Lunch Program and seniors 65 or older who receive Supplemental Security Income program benefits.

“We have a lot of people who have access to the internet but don’t have the financial means to get it,” said Jason Keller of Charter, which is partnering with the housing authority to launch the service.

Gumm said several residents rely on wireless internet hot spots such as the Graham Drive branch of the Warren County Public Library for internet service.

“After the library closes, you’ll see kids sitting outside and it shouldn’t be like that,” Gumm said. “They should be safe in their homes online instead of outside looking for a hot spot.”

Find the original article here

 

 

Kramden Computers in Belize

Working with our longtime partner Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), 15 Kramden computers are in Belize. The systems are set up in a computer lab at Silk Grass Methodist School in the Stann Creek district of southern Belize. Southern Belize has a significantly higher rate of poverty than the northern part of the country and in the Stann Creek District, only 6 of the 36 primary schools had computers for the students to use.

A representative from KidzKonnect4Jesus, the local organization Rise Against Hunger partners with for their work in Belize, had this to say:

“For the vast majority of the 350 students at Silk Grass Methodist School in southern Belize, they touched the keyboard of a computer for the very first time thanks to the donation of much needed computers.  This includes children 13 and 14 years old.  The basic math and spelling programs preloaded captivated their attention like nothing we’ve ever seen before.  The teachers were amazed at the unusually calm and patient behavior as they waited quietly for their turn.  While we are early on with this program, everyone is very excited about this being a real “game changer” to drastically improve our learning process and literacy rates.”

 

 

 

Eric has been part of the Kramden team since 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Development and Marketing.

A Kramden Super Geek won a STEMmy Award!

One of our awesome Super Geek volunteers, Ashlyn VanDine, was presented with the STEM Student of the Year 7-12 award at the Second Annual STEMmy Awards. The STEMmy awards, hosted by STEM in the Park, recognize students, educators, and organizations for the great work they are doing in STEM fields. Congratulations Ashlyn!

A full list of this year’s winners and pictures from the ceremony can be found here.

Kramden featured in NCTA Member Spotlight

 

 

 

Kramden Institute was featured in the North Carolina Technology Association’s Member Spotlight for April 2017. Read the full profile here.

Refurbished computers given to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools families

 

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Throughout the day on Thursday, parents pulled in front of Petree Elementary School thankful for a generous gift.

“It’s going to be a big help to everything. It will help me because that way [I don’t have to] be on their backs about their homework,” parent Thomas Williams said.

Free refurbished computers were provided to 100 families at the school who did not have a computer at home.

“We have a lot of smartphones, those have been a real savior for a lot, but there’s still that divide of being able to do schoolwork on a screen that they can see,” said Lynda Goff, executive director of WinstonNet.

WinstonNet, Durham-based non-profit Kramden Institute and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools teamed up hoping to close that gap.

“We’ve been making an effort to come to Winston-Salem and the Triad and try to get more computers into the schools here,” said Michael Abensour, Kramden Institute executive director.

It was an exciting moment for children like third-grade student Ciara Angove.

She had been using a tablet with an attachable keyboard, but looks forward to having a computer at home.

“If I have to write something, I might use the icon where we can write and then put it on a piece of paper,” she said.

“I can use it to look up stuff I haven’t learned yet like math,” fourth-grade student Deja Cunningham said.

On Friday, families at Bolton Elementary School will receive free computers bringing the total to 200 families helped by this initiative.

Find the original article here.

Southeast Raleigh Computer Center

 

The Southeast Raleigh community now has a new resource to help bridge the digital divide.  Bernadette McAllister, a longtime  advocate for digital inclusion and job readiness, has launched a training facility at Fellowship Raleigh to help meet the community’s needs. With support from Kramden Institute and Digital Inclusion Fellow Mike Byrd, Mrs. McAllister received 14 refurbished computers for the Southeast Raleigh Computer Center. The computer award from the Kramden Institute was funded in part by a grant from the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN).  

The Southeast Raleigh Computer Center will offer the Jobs For Life job readiness program  as well as digital literacy classes to residents of the community. On March 3, 2017 Mrs. McAllister and her volunteer staff hosted an open house for the Southeast Raleigh Computer Center which was attended by Raleigh City Council member Corey Branch, a strong advocate on city council for Southeast Raleigh residents. The Jobs for Life and digital literacy training started the following week on March 7, 2017 and the program currently has 10 participants from the community enrolled.  

2020 Olympic Medals to be made from e-waste

 

The Olympics is an amazing event. Thousands of athletes representing hundreds of countries come together every two years to compete. Millions of people around the world watch the best of the best give everything they have, every ounce of strength and skill, to win a medal. When the games take place in Tokyo in 2020, those medals will hold a little extra meaning.

Organizers of the Tokyo games recently announced plans to collect millions of used cell phones and other electronics from the Japanese public and use the metal recovered from recycling the e-waste to produce the medals. With collection boxes planned for more than 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores and public offices around the country, the committee hopes to collect eight tons of metal (gold: 40 kg, silver: 4920 kg, bronze: 2944 kg) in order to produce the 5,000 medals for the Olympic and Paralympic games.

In a press release, Ashton Eaton, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder said, “The weight of a medal around your neck is always a good weight and when an athlete at Tokyo wins a medal, the weight of it will not be from the gold, silver or bronze; it will be the weight of a nation. The awesomeness of this project makes me want to come out of retirement and compete for one.”

While the medals for the 2010 and 2016 games made partly of recycled materials, this will be the first time the medals will be made entirely of recycled metals.

A side benefit of computer recycling

In a recent newsletter, Free Geek, a computer refurbishing organization in Portland, shared some information about their computer recycling program. One number in particular caught our eye, the amount of gold and other metals that would be recovered from all of the materials they recycle.

After reading the email from Free Geek, we decided to find out just how much gold we helped recover last year.

In 2016 alone, Kramden sent 6,813 pounds of motherboards and other printed circuit boards to our recycling partner. Each ton contains an average of 5 troy ounces of gold[i]. Let’s have some fun with math.

6,813 pounds = 3.4 tons

5 troy ounces = 0.34 pounds

3.4 tons * 0.34 pounds/ton = 1.156 pounds of gold recovered

That’s a little over half of the gold bar pictured here:

Just over a pound of gold may not seem like a lot on its own, but let’s take a moment to put it in context.

Big mines produce 125 tons of waste rock per ounce of gold produced. That means the 1.156 pounds of gold our recycling efforts helped recover saved more than 4.6 million pounds of waste rock from being generated.

The impacts of gold recovery don’t stop there. Moving and processing all of that rock requires a lot of energy, both gas and electric. To extract gold during the mining process, the ore is doused with cyanide, an extremely lethal environmental containment. Puddles containing cyanide solutions are hazardous to wildlife and accidental spills into rivers led to large scale kills of fish and other aquatic species[ii]. Gold mining also releases large amounts of mercury, arsenic, and antimony into the environment[iii].

For us, it’s always nice to see another way in which the work of our amazing volunteers helps the world.