Omaha, NE (Oct. 9, 2014) – A new technology center, funded by a grant from Cox Communications and The James M. Cox Foundation, officially opened today at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands – Westside Unit in Omaha. The grant is part of a $150,000 gift that Cox Communications and The James M. Cox Foundation provided to create seven new Cox Technology Centers nationwide.
The technology centers are the centerpiece of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Club Tech program, which provides students access to curriculum to advance their computer literacy skills. These technology centers also help bridge the digital divide for children who have no access to a computer or Internet connection at home.
“Cox is dedicated to the Omaha community and to providing youth access to technology and best practices for staying safe online,“ said Cox Communications Omaha Market Vice President Kim Rowell.
“At the Clubs members have opportunities to actively develop 21st Century skills. Research shows that youth who have access to science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship and math projects are more likely to be prepared for secondary and post-secondary education and are more likely to be successful in future careers. Youth participation in Art encourages curiosity and creativity along with scientific and technical skills. 21st Century kids, particularly underrepresented youth in STEM education and activities, need a variety of opportunities to learn skills needed to strive and compete in the 21st Century. Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe environment for kids to try-on new skills, to ask ‘what if questions,’ and to explore the possibilities,” said Ivan Gilreath, CEO/President of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.
Valued at more than $25,000, each Boys & Girls Club Technology Center includes state-of-the-art computers, along with desktops, monitors, laptops, printers, docking stations, wireless routers, wireless cards and proprietary Microsoft and Club Tech software. Through the Club Tech suite of programs, kids learn the basics of business software, plus stay safe online and move on to advanced hardware and networking skills.
Cox Communications and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have partnered for more than ten years to provide club kids with a safe place to learn and grow. In Omaha, local Cox teams have contributed more than $1.1 million in cash, in-kind support, media services and volunteer efforts to the organization since 2008.
The Omaha Technology Center is located at the Westside Unit (1414 Robertson Drive, Omaha), a club attached to Westbrook Elementary School, serves nearly 200 Westside Unit club kids daily and is open to more than 800 club kids from around the metro area.