Meeting our Community's Needs - Neighbor to Neighbor

National Digital Inclusion Week

Computers and access to the internet are a critical part of modern life.  Did you know:

 ~ Schools throughout DuPage County require parents to register, check grades, and follow student attendance online

 ~ Job applications require you to use a computer with internet to apply

 ~ Doctor’s offices now communicate information about appointments and test results using special online medical portals

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance and its 246 affiliated organizations across the U.S. want everyone to realize how important access to communication technology is in daily life. National Digital Inclusion Week, May 8-13, 2017, aims to spread the word about fair access to these essential services.

PRC has been part of the digital inclusion movement since the beginning. Our computer training program began in 1993 and grew right alongside the tech industry.  Today, we offer seven different free classes and a special Microsoft Office Certification series at sites all over DuPage County. 

Students attend class for many reasons. Some want to learn the basics of Windows and email while others are looking to improve skills for a job.  One student in a recent Excel class said, “I use a computer with this program at my work. So I know some of this, but this class is good to go back and get that foundation of understanding.” 

Another recent student said, “I bought a new computer recently, hooked it up myself too, but these classes are really good. They help fill in the things I don’t know.”

Last year, over 1400 adults attended one of our computer classes which are taught by volunteers. Many of these volunteers are current or former IT industry and tech professionals who want to give back to the community. 

“Our volunteers are very dedicated,” says Mary Blair, Computer Training Coordinator at the PRC. “They see the students develop confidence from taking class and it’s exciting. In general, our adult students have a lot of obstacles that make taking class difficult. Transportation is often an issue, and adults have jobs and family responsibilities too. But the students are always appreciative.” 

Our next session of classes begins the week of June 26. Each session is seven weeks long. The classes are held once a week and last 90 minutes. To sign up, call our main number at 630-682-5402 and leave a message on the extension 223. 

Computer classes are not the only way that PRC is helping to bridge the digital divide—we also give away free refurbished computers for students who attend class, already loaded with Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Since the start of the program, we’ve given away over 13,000 computers to our neighbors in DuPage.

Celebrate National Digital Inclusion week with the PRC, our volunteers and students— creating fair access to communication technology for our neighbors across DuPage County!