May marks the one-year anniversary of the Digital Literacy Program at LiteracyCNY!
For decades, LiteracyCNY focused on providing adults with literacy tools for reading and writing skills through their instructional program. Prior to the pandemic, LCNY offered one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction to over 500 adults in the Central New York region each year.
After announcing suspension of operations in late 2020, LCNY had to close its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and financial restraints. It seemed as if it was an end of an era for adult literacy in the community. However, with the support of community donations, a passion to advocate for adult literacy programs, and the Literacy Rochester organization, LCNY was given the chance to start operations again by early 2022. Working closely with Literacy Rochester, LCNY rebuilt a curriculum and decided to launch new programs including the Digital Literacy program that exists today.
Volunteers like our newest DL Volunteer, Jim, who started at the Dunham Public Library, are always excited to work with people who visit them for help. Volunteers often learn new things too as they work with individuals of all backgrounds and experiences.
Starting in March 2022, Lydia Torres is the first Digital Literacy Coordinator for the organization. She quickly got to work connecting with potential volunteers and site locations and encouraging community members to learn about the new program. By May that same year, Lydia had a trained volunteer stationed at the New Hartford Library who assisted individuals with computer questions, navigating the internet, or specific software. The DL volunteers work with customers individually to address their specific questions and needs.
The program has grown significantly over the past year and now includes thirteen site locations across Onondaga, Oneida, Madison, and Herkimer counties. Community centers, libraries, and even senior centers are among the list of locations that volunteers are stationed at. The New Hartford Library continues to be an active program location for community members to seek out help with technology.
With the rise of technology and the use of it in all aspects of life, being digital literate is just as essential to learn for ease of accessibility and understanding of technology and the internet.