Tech Goes Home Program Connects Central Students

TECH GOES HOME -- The Tech Goes Home program offers disadvantaged students  technology and internet to students at home.

TECH GOES HOME -- The Tech Goes Home program offers disadvantaged students technology and internet to students at home.

Justin Metcalf, Staff Writer

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Access to a computer and Internet at home is practically essential for the everyday high school student, but not every high school student is privileged with this access. Tech Goes Home Chattanooga is a program for those economically and systematically disadvantaged people who struggle with obtaining Internet and technology at home.

According to the Tech Goes Home website, “Tech Goes Home Chattanooga (TGH CHA) offers programs for adults, school-aged children, and preschoolers. The program provides 15 hours of training to help participants acquire the skills to be able to access information and resources online. Upon completion of the course, participants also have the option to purchase a new Chromebook for only $50. The program also offers assistance in securing low-cost home Internet service through one of several available options.”

Jim Snyder, Central’s credit recovery lab facilitator and geometry teacher, applied for and received a grant to have TGH end the digital divide at Central. Snyder will be the teacher of the 15 hour training program that teaches participants the skills they need for at-home technology.

“Central is the first school in Hamilton County to go through the Tech Goes Home program. [It] gives me a chance to work with 20 student/parent teams through digital learning programs. As soon  as we can get 20 people to come in, the program will start taking action at Central,” stated Snyder.

To be accepted into the TGH CHA program, certain qualifications need to met. These qualifications are based on applicant’s age, race, and income.

“Those who are below the poverty line, live in rural communities, are African-American or Latino, have a disability, have a high school diploma or less, or are over the age of 65 are disproportionately on the wrong side of the digital divide,” the TGH CHA website states.

The “digital divide” refers to the gap between those who have readily-available access to computers and Internet at home and those who do not, which is a major issue in Chattanooga. THG CHA is part of one of Mayor Andy Berke’s “State of the City” initiatives to reduce the price of Internet access for the students of Hamilton County.

In order for TGH CHA to reach its full potential and assist as many people as possible, the program needs to be promoted, and information on it needs to be spread throughout the Central community.

“We need to get this to people through social media and spreading the word to others. I have been emailing current PTSA members about it, and hopefully we will get 20 people by the time classes start,” expressed Snyder.

Classes begin on Tuesday, August 25, and will continue until September 26. They take place every Tuesday and Thursday and last from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  The deadline for applications is September 8.

The TGH twitter is @TechGoesHomeCHA, and their website can be accessed by clicking here. There you will find more information on TGH CHA and can fill out a survey to see if you are eligible to volunteer for the program. We can contribute to our community and the success of its students by simply telling others about Tech Goes Home. Please do not hesitate to apply or share your knowledge of this incredibly helpful and valuable program.