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SIM-RTP Continues Longtime Partnership with Kramden

The Society for Information Management (SIM) is a professional network that brings together IT leaders to share, network, and give back to their communities. SIM’s RTP Chapter first collaborated with Kramden Institute in April 2008 at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and has been supporting Kramden’s mission to bridge the digital divide ever since.

SIM-RTP volunteer awards a computer to a family at Kramden in 2013

“One of our key philanthropic missions focuses on education and support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related activities for local K-12 communities. Kramden offers a perfect fit into this mission by providing education and access to technology for underserved populations throughout the triangle area as well as across North Carolina.”

– John Rinehart, SIM-RTP Board Member – Philanthropic Chair
John demonstrates how to set up a computer with a Kramden Tech Scholar in 2018

This past Saturday, SIM-RTP sponsored another Mini Geek-A-Thon at Kramden. During the event, volunteers gathered to participate in various refurbishing projects and award computers to local deserving students.

SIM-RTP serves several local groups, along with Kramden, that focus on mentoring and supporting K-12 students who are developing their technology skills. As SIM-RTP Board Member John Rinehart explained, “Quite honestly, the members of SIM learn as much from these young people as they do from us.”

To learn more about how your group can help support Kramden’s mission, visit https://kramden.org/group-sponsorships/ .


Area Adults Participate in Lenovo Funded Computer Basics Course


Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and an understanding of computer basics is invaluable. Over 75% of recently surveyed individuals reported that after completing Kramden’s Computer Basics classes, they felt confident using a computer.

Lead Instructor, Lile Stephens, demonstrates text editing in a word document.

This month, another group of local adults gathered in Kramden’s Lenovo Learning Lab to take advantage of 8 hours of free basic digital literacy training. Whether students were new to the computer or just wanting to brush up on fundamentals, participants learned valuable information they could utilize every day at home or in the workplace.

Students practiced holding and moving a mouse, learned how to save and share documents, and for those who didn’t have an existing email address, even set up an email account.

Students practice using a mouse.

Each class participant will receive a free refurbished laptop computer with one year of technical support to complement their training thanks to funding from the Lenovo Foundation.

Durham Residents Complete Computer Training and Receive Desktops

Recent Kramden Digital Literacy graduate and Durham Housing Authority resident Theresa was looking for a way to “jump-start a new chapter in her life” when she signed up for computer classes at McDougald Terrace’s TA Grady Center this April. She said she hoped to brush up on her skills and get a computer to use for school.

Kramden’s basic computer classes explore a variety of topics from simply learning the fundamentals of using a mouse and keyboard, to creating and editing documents, and navigating social media sites.  Upon completion, class participants receive a computer system for home use. To date, nearly 2,000 individuals have participated in Kramden’s Digital Literacy program since 2014.

Class participants follow along as instructor Bill Koeb discusses Office programs.

For Theresa, finishing the class meant not only acquiring a computer to practice her recently acquired skills, but also a boost in self-confidence.

“I’m so thankful to be completing this class. It helped me to believe in myself again. I’m going to register for classes at Durham Tech this summer, and because of this class, I now have the equipment and the self-confidence I need.”

Theresa W, Digital Literacy Class Participant

Last week, at the conclusion of the fourth course, Theresa and 17 other Durham Housing residents received their desktop computers to take home. The computers, along with eight hours of free computer training, were provided by Kramden Institute and made possible with grant funding received from Google Fiber.