Friday, March 26, 2004

Here is an interesting Report from the The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation regarding its initial evaluation of its Community Access to Technology Program grants.
Since 1999, the Community Access to Technology (CAT) program has made grants to a wide variety of Washington State nonprofits for the purpose of engaging their clients in hands-on use of technology, and providing training so that these clients can work on improving their lives and meeting their personal goals. Grants have supported organizations working with diverse populations, including: Youth, Homeless Persons, Persons with Disabilities, Native Americans, Immigrants, and Rural Communities. To evaluate the accomplishments, effectiveness, and lessons learned from the CAT program to date, MGS Consulting studied a large sample of CAT grantees. Highlights from the initial evaluation show:
* The grantee's clients are primarily working on educational and employment goals. Other often-cited goals include personal growth & social inclusion, information-seeking, and independence (particular to persons with disabilities).
* Grantees have been able to sustain new staff positions. Ninety-three percent of grantees continue to operate their projects successfully and have maintained new CAT project staff positions. However, grantees reported that staff and executive turnover and finding qualified staff as the biggest challenge to successful implementation and operation of projects.
* Goals have been met or exceeded. 79% of grantees met or exceeded their own program delivery goals, and over half report serving as many or more persons than anticipated.
This is the first year of a multi-year study. Subsequent years will attempt to measure whether clients are achieving meaningful outcomes (better jobs; improved grades, etc) through their participation in these community technology programs.
The full report can be found at: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/PacificNorthwest/CommunityAccessTechnology/CAT_Evaluation.htm

The CAT Program makes grants in Washington State only. Other than our work with Public Libraries, the Gates Foundation has no other grant programs that fund community technology projects, nationally or internationally. More information on the Gates Foundation and its programs can be found at www.gatesfoundation.org .

Ken Thompson
Program Officer, Community Access to Technology
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Box 23350 : Seattle, WA 98102

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Save the Date!
"Bridging the Divides: Human, Digital and Community"
Third Annual Community Technology Awards Reception
Thursday, November 4, 2004 - Houston, Texas
Join us for outstanding speakers (Kavita Singh, Executive Director, CTCNet; Amy Borgstrom, U.S. Department of Commerce; and others), workshops, networking, CTC awards, and much more.

To insure your inclusion on the invitation list send an email to Conference2004@techforall.org with
"Invitation list" in the subject line.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

TOP Ten Web Sites for Community Technology Centers (CTCs)March 2004

Community Technology Centers Network – www.ctcnet.org

NASA Mars Rover Site - http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html

TechSoup Stock - www.techsoup.org

CommunityNetworking.org – www.communitynetworking.org

Cool Tools for Change – www.cooltoolsforchange.org

Foundation Center – www.fdncenter.org

America Connects Consortium – www.americaconnects.net

Community Technology Review, Spring 2004 – www.comtechreview.org

Association for Community Networking – www.afcn.org

RTPNet CTC Curriculum Resources Page– http://www.rtpnet.org/comp/
Technology For All – www.techforall.org
Technology For All-Houston – www.houston.techforall.org
BLOG for CTCS in Houston area – http://texasctcs.blogspot.com
Find a CTC in the City of Houston

Register today to join over 600 of your colleagues at the 2004 CTCNet Conference, June 11-13 in Seattle, Washington.

Titled "Building Connected Communities: The Power of People & Technology," the 13th Annual CTCNet Conference will explore emerging themes under the larger framework of community building and its relevance for community technology centers as they engage and connect diverse communities to effect positive change.

The Conference will include over 40 sessions covering a range of topics within the six tracks: Community Development & Community Technology; Program Design & Content; Organizational Capacity & Leadership; Policy, Advocacy & Organizing; Research & Evaluation; and Technology.

Additional features include special-interest networking events, the Community Technology Share Fair, a series of Pre-Conference workshops June 10th, Exhibitors with resources for CTCs, our "CTC at the Conference", a downtown "Welcome to Seattle reception" and an Opening Plenary with Symantec Chairman & CEO John Thompson and a panel of Community Technology leaders.

For more information, visit www.ctcnet.org/conf/2004/ or contact me at squinn@ctcnet.org!


Stephen Quinn
Member Services Coordinator
Community Technology Centers' Network (CTCNet)
1436 U St. NW STE 104, Washington, DC 20009
Tel: (202) 462-1200
Fax: (202) 462-3892
Email: squinn@ctcnet.org

Join CTCNet today!

To ask a question or request a post to this blog send an email to
Will.Reed@techforall.org .

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Benefits Provided for Community Technology Centers
Houston area organizations joining the Community Technology Centers Network to receive additional benefits from Technology For All

Houston, Texas - (March 24, 2004) Technology For All (TFA) announced today new benefits for Houston area community technology centers (CTCs) that join the Community Technology Centers Network (CTCNet) or are already members of CTCNet. In addition to the regular member benefits that organizations receive as members of CTCNet, TFA will provide additional benefits to CTCNet member organizations in the Greater Houston area.

Additional benefits include: 1) access to online elearning; 2) access to other TFA content for CTCs; 3) participation in TFA's request for computer program with operating system software at preferred prices; 4) free and reduced rates for TFA sponsored meetings and events; 5) listing in an online directory of Houston area CTCs; 6) participation in a Standards of Excellence Program for CTCs; 7) upon nomination, consideration as the Houston area CTC of the Year; 8) technical and program assistance as available through TFA partner relationships; and 9) access to TechAtlas, an online tool for technology assessments and technology asset management.

Since 1997 Technology For All has assisted over 180 Houston area community organizations develop, create and operate CTCs serving low-income and underserved communities. Each of these CTCs and other Houston organizations with CTCs that join CTCNet will receive the added benefits from TFA. TFA is a leader in the field of community technology and recently received national recognition as one of only 28 organizations across the U.S. to receive a grant from the Department of Commerce Technology Opportunities Program. TFA is utilizing the grant as start-up capital for a pilot project that will initially create 42 jobs at three Houston area CTCs. Following the pilot, the program will expand to other CTCNet member CTCs across Houston and the U.S.

About Technology For All
Technology For All (TFA) is a nonprofit initiative focused on empowering low income communities through the tools of community technology and community development. TFA works with over 300 grass roots community organizations operating community technology centers (CTCs) across Houston and in fifty-six other U.S. cities. TFA is a member of the Community Technology Centers Network and the Association for Community Networking. In addition to over 150 community based organizations operating CTCs, key Houston area program partners include the University of Houston College of Technology, The Telecom Opportunity Institute, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Houston Technology Center and the Houston Area Technology Advancement Center.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Mars Exploration Rover Mission

This is a great site for CTCs with AfterSchool programs. With the exploration of Mars, the Red Planet, NASA has had to create a special site just to provide Mars exploration updates. There has been so much traffic on NASA's sites that this one is just for those hooked on Mars. As NASA's official Mars site there is new information and photographs constantly appearing as a result of ongoing photographic transmissions. As photographs come in, NASA posts them making these stunning images available as an online resource. There are different links for kids, students, educators and press. (There are separate links for students and "kids".) NASA offers more than different images and descriptions about Mars. They have animations of Mars and of Spirit. The website also tells you about different projects scientists conducted. The descriptions of Mars are reasonable in that kids can understand them and the explanations are accompanied by activities that you can do to learn more about Mars. The website gives an overview and features of the planet. They give programs to explore and there is a data team. The games are a great deal of fun, but you'll have to set your computer to accept popups, which is the how the animations appear.

DiscounTech is now TechSoup Stock. At TechSoup Stock,
non profits will find technology products in the supportive environment of TechSoup.org.

* Access to over 240 products from 25 technology providers.

* Extensive support including customer service assistance, and easy access to TechSoup articles, message boards, and other resources.

* Low administrative fees, which compare to as little as 4% of retail value, thanks to generous donations and discounts from our partners.

Check out TechSoup Stock :

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


This site describes itself as "A project of students and faculty at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, CommunityNetworking.org is a resource and news site for organizations that need to use computers and the Internet, but which have to work with low budgets. New technologies and techniques are emerging that allow low-budget, community-based organizations to improve their use of information technologies and still stay within their financial means." I already found a lot of helpful information. I bookmarked the site and plan on checking in regularly....

SBC Foundation Awards $5 Million to GEAR UP Program
See the announcement below regarding this great opportunity for CTCs to work together with education and community partnerships to support k-16 math, science, reading and technology partnerships.

The SBC Foundation, the charitable arm of Dallas-based SBC Communications, has announced a $5 million grant to the National Council for Community Education Partnerships (NCCEP) to support the federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP.

The grant from SBC will supplement the program, which was enacted by Congress when it passed the Higher Education Amendment of 1998, in thirteen states. GEAR UP encourages students in grades 6-12 to stay in school and apply for college. The funds from the foundation will help train teachers to use technology in the classroom; fund technology-based after-school programs; measure student achievement and program impact; and establish new K-16 partnerships.

"When Congress enabled the creation of the GEAR UP program, it recognized that if we are to overcome the challenges faced by low-income, first-generation college-bound students, business involvement would be critical," said NCCEP president Hector Garza. "We applaud SBC for meeting this challenge and providing a step forward for an entire generation that will enter the workforce in the next decade."

Rural Conference 2004:
Workforce * Economy * Community * Technology * Youth

Austin, TX --- Apr 25 - 27, 2004
Check out this conference! While its focus is rural, I have looked at the list of proposed workshops and they look very interesting and applicable to urban settings also....

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Cool Tools For Change...I just received information about a workshop on April 2 that Gary Chapman and some folks are doing at the UT School for Public Affairs in Austin. It sounds like a great workshop....

I had a great meeting today with Yolanda Smith and Peri Rideaux of the NAACP Family Technology Center. They are doing great things with the new center. Don't miss the opportunity to take a guided tour of the center at the March CTC Brown Bag scheduled for Wednesday, March 24 at 12 noon. The center is located at 4205 Fannin across from the Sears store. Call Hilda at 713.961.0012 or email her at Hilda.Puente@techforall.org to RSVP and order your lunch.

TFA staff and volunteers met this morning and were discussing ways to utlize this blog to get the word out about Houston area community technology activities and events. Please email your suggestions or questions for discussion to Will.Reed@techforall.org .

Every community technology center should join CTCNet. The $100 cost of membership is small compared to the benefits that CTCs receive from the national organization as well as from Technology For All. We will have membership application forms at the next brown bag on Wednesday, March 24 at the NAACP Family Technology Center.

We have recently entered into a supportive relationship with the City of Houston. We are in the process of aggregating information about Houston area CTCs and uploading it all to the City of Houston Super Neighborhood site.....Your help in getting the correct information uploaded is appreciated. Hilda Puente and Pam Gardner on our staff are in the process of gathering that information. Give them a call at 713.961.0012 to update your information including addreess, email, phone numbers and program information.

NSB Sounds Warning Bell for S&E Workforce
The lack of encouraging news in the culminating report from the National Science Board’s (NSB) three-year study of America’s science and engineering (S&E) workforce is offset only by the urgent call to recognize and counter increased global competition and disturbing demographic trends and projections. The Science and Engineering Workforce: Realizing America’s Potential concludes:

"Global competition for S&E talent is intensifying, such that the United States may not be able to rely on the international S&E labor market to fulfill unmet skill needs; and,
The number of native-born S&E graduates entering the workforce is likely to decline unless the Nation intervenes to improve success in educating S&E students from all demographic groups, especially those that have been underrepresented in S&E careers.”

How can CTCs can help support the development of the S&E workforce? It is probably through more collaborations with schools like the TARGET grant that is working to improve math and science comprehension in 20 low performing HISD schools......CTCs are a vital supportive part of that effort.... see the full research as a pdf document at
..... http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/2003/nsb0369/start.htm

Monday, March 08, 2004

NAACP Family Technology Center

Invite you to join them for a BROWN BAG LUNCH and a

With Presenters
Dr. Will Reed, President/CEO
Technology For All/Technology For All-Houston
Dr. Douglas Caldwell and Pam Gardner
Technology For All/Technology For All-Houston

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Noon to 1:30 p.m.


NAACP Family Technology Center
Yolanda Smith, Executive Director
Peri Rideaux, Coordinator
4205 Fannin
Houston, Texas 77004

The Program
“Standards of Excellence for Community Technology Centers”
(created by the America Connects Consortium in collaboration with CTCNet)

 The purpose of these standards is to provide a clear set of standards by which CTCs can assess themselves.
 The goal is to provide a systematic process for insuring that CTCs have basic operational and programmatic standards in place.
 The program is designed to encourage improvement of operations and long-term sustainability.
Seating is limited so reserve space (and if you choose lunch for $4) now by contacting Hilda Puente at Technology For All-Houston at 713-961-0012 or Hilda.Puente@techforall.org.
12:00 Lunch and Networking
12:20 Welcome-Introductions-Tour
12:30 Presentation
1:00 Open Discussion
1:30 Adjournment

For Immediate Release

Contact: Will Reed (TFA) Jerry Winburne (BAHFH)
713.961.0012, x102 713.859.1369
Will.Reed@techforall.org kildeer@swbell.net

Non-Profits to Place “A Mouse in Every House”

Unique Sweat Equity Program will allow Habitat Homeowners to
“Learn and Earn” Computers on Computers for Humanity Day

Houston, Texas – February 26, 2004 – It was announced today that Bay Area Habitat for Humanity (BAHFH) and Technology For All (TFA) will work together to place “A Mouse in Every House” on a special Computers for Humanity Day scheduled for Saturday, May 1, 2004. The day, which will begin with a breakfast on the lawn at Faith United Methodist Church in Dickinson, will culminate with the placement of computers in the home of Bay Area Habitat for Humanity homeowners in Dickinson, Texas City, and LaPorte.
Both Technology For All and Bay Area Habitat for Humanity have focused their missions on the empowerment of low income persons. While the two organizations have focused on different aspects of empowerment, this unique project will create educational and economic opportunities for Habitat homeowners through a “learn and earn” component similar to the traditional sweat equity that Habitat for Humanity is known for.
Technology For All and Bay Area Habitat for Humanity are working together to secure corporate and community donors and volunteers to assist with the program. Computer contributions of Pentium III computers and faster will be received by Technology For All and refurbished by student volunteers at its program office in Houston’s East end at the Mission Milby Community Development Corporation. Technology For All is a “Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher” and will install a licensed copy of Windows 2000 on computers donated by corporations and individuals.
As a part of “Computers for Humanity Day” BAHFH homeowners will participate with community volunteers in a required learning event at the Faith United Methodist Church in Dickinson. Members of the church will host the event, which will begin at 9 am with breakfast on the lawn. Following the training participating Habitat homeowners will receive computers for installation in their homes. Volunteers recruited from the community and from area corporations will assist with the program which is designed to help Habitat homeowners gain the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to successful and fully participate in the 21st century economy.
Additional computer skills training for Habitat homeowners will be provided following the “Computers for Humanity Day” and each family will receive a copy of the recently published book A House with No Mouse by P. S. Tinsley, Ph.D.
TFA and BAHFH are seeking sponsors, donors, and volunteers for the program. Donors and sponsors will be recognized publicly at the event and in all publicity, t-shirts and printed materials produced for the project. Sponsorship and giving opportunities include both cash and in-kind contributions of computers, ISP services, training for homeowners and more. Volunteers will be trained by Technology For All to help homeowners install computers in their homes and utilize them as tools for education and training.
A Mouse in Every House is expected to become a model for similar programs in other communities. Donors and sponsors associated with this ground-breaking initiative will receive significant recognition as a result of their participation.

The new Community Technology Review, Winter/Spring 2004 is now online at www.comtechreview.org. Also, registrations are now being accepted for the Annual CTCNet Conference in Seatle, Washington scheduled for June 11-13. Go to www.ctcnet.org and click on "Conference."

Sunday, March 07, 2004

We will be making an important announcement at the March Brown Bag. The primary topic for the Brown Bag is "Standards of Excellence for CTCs." The announcement will take place around 12:25 at the NAACP Family Technology Center on Fannin across the street from Sears in Midtown (Houston)

Email me if you have questions or issues you want to discuss..


Sign up for the Houston CTC Brown Bag scheduled for Wednesday, March 24 at the NAACP Family Technology Center. Call Hilda Puente at 713.961.0012 to RSVP- Will Reed

Houston CTCs are now listed on the City of Houston Super Neighborhood Site at

click on New "Find a Community Technology Center in your Neighborhood" at

Houston CTCs are now listed on the City of Houston Super Neighborhood Site at


click on New "Find a Community Technology Center in your Neighborhood"

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