Fight to Begin Opening 27 Public Computing Centers with April 26th Ribbon Cutting Event

Date: 
April 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia FIGHT will officially open the first of 27 public computing centers it will manage on Tuesday, April 26th with a ribbon cutting reception from 3-5 PM. Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Bob Brady, and numerous members of

the AIDS Service community are expected to join the celebration at FIGHT’s offices: 1233 Locust Street, 3rd Floor. The computing centers were made possible through $18.2 million in grant funding from the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (B-TOP).

Philadelphia FIGHT is one of thirteen local agencies and educational institutions participating in the program led by the City of Philadelphia’s Division of Technology and the Urban Affairs Coalition. The program is designed to provide broadband Internet access, computers and training to the most economically and socially vulnerable areas of the City.

In total, 77 public computing centers will be created and 15,000 individuals will be trained in how to use computers thanks to the citywide initiative.

“This partnership will help more residents develop valuable digital literacy and workforce skills so they can remain competitive in today's 21st Century economy,” said Mayor Nutter.

“We thank Philadelphia FIGHT for partnering with the City to make valuable resources and services available to residents directly in the heart of communities across Philadelphia. Through this initiative, residents, particularly those in less advantaged neighborhoods, will have an opportunity to enhance their ability to work toward a better quality of life.”

FIGHT’s Critical Path Project has over 15 years of experience addressing the digital divide and serving citizens who do not have the resources in their own homes to access the Internet. For its part, FIGHT will expand the computer lab and staffing in its AIDS Library, Institute for Community Justice, and Youth Health Empowerment Project. FIGHT will also assist in creating or enhancing computer centers at 27 of the 77 locations, including shelters and drug recovery houses where FIGHT currently makes HIV counseling and testing available.The site to be opened on April 26th contains 10 computers and is open to the public Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10AM-1PM. Classes take place at various times Monday-Saturday and include lessons in basic computing skills, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, digital storytelling, and blogging as well as FIGHT’s signature workshops “Finding Health Information Online” and “Finding HIV/AIDS Information Online” to ensure that individuals can access accurate and reliable information when it comes to taking care of their health.

Philadelphia FIGHT is a comprehensive AIDS service organization providing state of the art, culturally conscious HIV primary care, consumer education, advocacy, social services, outreach to people living with HIV and to those who are at high risk, and access to the most advanced clinical research. Each year, FIGHT reaches over 10,000 individuals through its education and outreach efforts and treats over 1,300 individuals with HIV at the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center. FIGHT’s goal is to end the AIDS epidemic within the lifetime of those currently living with HIV.

# # #

For more information about Philadelphia FIGHT’s programs and history, visit www.fight.org.

For more information about Broadband USA, visit www.broadbandusa.gov

For more information about other site openings, visit www.FreedomRingsPartnership.org