FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Yakima Valley Partners for Education’s Digital Literacy Computation classes teach 150 Lower Valley residents how to master wide range of computer skills
Toppenish, Wash. – More than 150 Spanish-speaking Lower Yakima Valley community members now possess a wide range of personal computer skills after completing digital literacy courses organized by Yakima Valley Partners for Education (YVPE). The eight “Digital Literacy Computation” cohorts were held between July 2022 to June 2023. Each cohort of 20 students was taught over a six-week period. YVPE established two community computer labs at Nuestra Casa in Sunnyside, Wash., where six of the classes were held. United Family Center in Grandview, Wash. hosted one cohort, and Mabton Junior Senior High School in Mabton, Wash. also hosted a cohort. YVPE staff member Lorena Legorreta developed the Spanish language curriculum used in these classes.
Suzy Diaz, director of YVPE, says all the people attending the classes are Spanish speaking, working adults whose personal and professional lives are now enriched because of having skills that others take for granted. “Students went from not knowing how to turn on a laptop, to having a working knowledge of Google apps, Microsoft Office programs, using QR codes to access information, and much more,” said Diaz. “They also know how to apply for public benefits online and use the internet to visit specific websites for job searches, to name only a few tasks. The world and information about local resources are now at their fingertips.”
The Digital Literacy Computation classes were funded with $100,000 from a $1.2 million Congressionally Directed Spending Award secured by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) for Save the Children. The award also provided for food security and childcare, which allowed adults with children to have their family’s needs met while they attended classes. The adults used laptops, which allowed them to learn how to use a computer and develop typing skills. Some students who had completed the courses were hired to present the curriculum to later classes.
“I’m so inspired by what Yakima Valley Partners for Education achieved with their digital literacy classes this past summer, helping people in the Yakima Valley learn essential computer skills that will enrich their personal and professional lives—and I’m so proud to have secured funding to help make it possible,” said Senator Murray. “When we invest in digital literacy and support people as they learn these critical skills, we’re not just investing in their ability to thrive—we’re investing in our state’s future. That’s why I’ll keep fighting in the U.S. Senate for funding like this to support people in the Yakima Valley and help them get the skills they need to thrive.”
Plans are underway to print 1,500 copies of the textbooks used in the Digital Literacy Computation classes to make them available at the sites for continued public use. For more information, contact Suzy Diaz at (509) 480-9354 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Davidson Mance at (509) 969-6084 or email@example.com.
Yakima Valley Partners for Education is a cradle-to-career collective impact network formed out of a commitment to work collaboratively to improve educational outcomes for all youth of Yakima Valley. The initial work focuses on the Lower Valley communities of Grandview, Sunnyside and Mabton and the plan is to extend into Mid Valley followed by Upper Valley.
The network is comprised of partners who have aligned to create a stronger, more integrated, more seamless education pipeline and a coordinated approach for equitably investing in children and supporting their success from birth through careers. The network takes on complex systemic and social issues by leveraging community strengths and forging uncommon partnerships through cross-sector, structured collaboration.
Heritage University serves as the backbone organization. Two leadership bodies guide the supports for the ongoing work of the network. The leadership bodies are comprised of representatives inside and outside the education sector, a key component of collective impact strategy, that guide the administrative functions of the work.
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