Cradle to Career plans new digital equity initiative

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 5:37 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry non-profit is planning to launch a new initiative to get technology and internet to families in need on the peninsula.

Tri-County Cradle to Career CEO Phyllis Martin says technology and internet access is no longer just nice to have, it’s necessary to have. During the pandemic she says it’s become even more necessary for students, which is why Cradle to Career plans to help provide all families in the East Side Community with access to these digital necessities.

“We can’t change educational outcomes for children if we’re not impacting the systems that surround children and families,” Martin said.

With their new pilot program, which they are presenting to the Charleston County Finance Committee Thursday afternoon, they plan to provide computers, internet, and other digital essentials to families who are without.

Martin says they are joining up with the East Side Community Development Cooperation to make it happen.

Based on information from the East Side Community, right now there are nearly 1,000 people on the peninsula without a computer, and more than 1,200 without internet.

When presenting their plans to the county, Martin says they are looking for support and a potential partnership with the county.

“We now have a shared definition and a shared vision for what digital equity looks like, and that would ensure that all individuals and communities have information, technology, capacity for full participation in society and the economy,” Martin said.

Right now, Martin says their goal is to launch the digital equity initiative in the next three months.

If you’d like to learn more about their organization, or make a donation, click here.

Martin says although their initial goal is to provide access and education to families, when the one-year pilot program ends, they intend to continue working with the community in years to come.

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