Computers in the inner city: Bridging the gap of the digital divide


The Adrienne Kirby Literacy Program at ABCD is bridging the digital divide with the support of federal, corporate and private funding. On Friday, April 7, at 9:30 a.m., ABCD, at 1070 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Conn., invites you to tour their program and witness the joy and excitement inner-city children are experiencing as they combine their newly-learned literacy skills with the world of computers.

Dr. Judith Primavera, associate professor of psychology at Fairfield University, initiated a collaborative partnership between Fairfield University and Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD) seven years ago, which led to the establishment of the Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project. About 270 Fairfield University students have worked this year as "literacy tutors" with children and parents to promote reading skills and a love of learning.

The proliferation of computers in wealthier communities,however, threatened to create a new barrier, this one to computer literacy - popularly known as "the digital divide."

Now a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, funding from SNET and continued support from Fairfield University, Action for Bridgeport Community Development and the F.M. Kirby Foundation, have made access to computers a reality for these inner-city youngsters and it is inspiring to see their response.

Dr. Primavera plans to provide training for parents and to provide follow-up on the progress of the children as they enter public schools.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 10, 2000

Vol. 32, No. 208