Almost half of this summer's students don't own a computer at home, and most of them had used a computer fewer than 10 times before they applied, some fewer than five times. Now they use a computer one or two times a week during the two-hour classes. They learn topics such as the parts of a computer, typing skills, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), browsing the Internet, social media, and email.
The classes are in high demand. "We usually don't have to advertise very much. People learn about our classes by word of mouth," explains CDIT manager Nasha Taylor. Students love the instructor, Kwaku Boateng, who enjoys seeing his students gain new job opportunities through their computer skills. Howard Arnold, a student in the beginner class, recently received a new home computer where he puts his new skills to use. "When you start seeing things you can do for yourself, the world busts wide open for you," he says in reference to what he learned in the class.
Howard and other students also take advantage of the Open Access Hours at the Families First KEYSPOT to practice their new skills. The lab is open to the community four days a week. In addition to job seekers, students come in to do homework and explore the new applications they learn in class. CDIT's lab assistant, Shirley Brendlinger, helps the students complete their homework. "He moves very fast," she says of Boateng, "but he teaches them how to take great notes so they can continue to practice."
CDIT keeps a running list of people interested in CCC. If you want to join the fall cohort or want to use the Families First KEYSPOT, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 267-777-5860 for more information.