NEW YORK, March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Union Settlement Association (www.unionsettlement.org) announced today that it has received a $20,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to support the continuation of Union Settlement's technology education and computer labs in East Harlem. Union Settlement currently operates three technology labs which together serve over 3,000 participants in its youth, adult and senior programs.
"This wonderful grant supports Union Settlement's mission of creating opportunity for the community in East Harlem," said David Nocenti, Executive Director of Union Settlement. "Technology resources and Internet access are increasingly basic requirements for college applicants, job seekers, and for all people to stay abreast of news. This grant better equips Union Settlement to offer services to the many members of the East Harlem community who lack these resources and training."
Richard Windram, director of public affairs for Verizon, said, "We are proud to support technology programs like Union Settlement's which provide education, training and access to the Internet to individuals young and old in East Harlem. The grant will strengthen this program, which benefits thousands of individuals in this community each year."
Union Settlement offers youth, adult education students and seniors computer resources in its centers. These participants rely on Union Settlement's three technology labs, which house a total of 40 computers, for the resources that residents of other neighborhoods — full of home computers and technology-rich schools — take for granted.
Young people use the labs for enriching and supervised literacy and math activities, computer instruction, homework, research, test prep, career and college exploration, and one-on-one instruction and support that schools cannot offer. Adult education students, many of whom are recent immigrants and/or are struggling with poverty and low literacy, use the labs to learn about immigration and citizenship issues. They also can search for jobs, follow the news locally and from their native countries, and communicate with friends, family and other students both here and abroad. Seniors take computer classes, use the internet to stay current with the news, learn about medications, and much more. The technology labs offer all of our participants the sense of control, power, perspective, and limitless opportunity that one can feel when using a computer and the internet.
The grant from the Verizon Foundation will fund an additional year of a part-time Technology Education Coordinator, who will oversee the three technology labs; work with Union Settlement's program directors to plan training that meets the needs of program participants; teach classes to young people, adults and seniors as well as to agency staff; and identify opportunities for acquiring equipment donations from corporations and other agencies.
About Union Settlement Association
Founded in 1895, Union Settlement Association is the oldest and largest social service agency in East Harlem. Our programs foster leadership and self-sufficiency by helping local residents build better lives for themselves and their families. Union Settlement serves more than 13,000 low-income residents annually through effective early childhood, youth, adult education, seniors and mental health programs. In addition, we bring public health resources, home care services, job training, arts programs and community development support to East Harlem. A large local employer with programs operating in 15 sites, Union Settlement is an important contributor to the economic vitality of East Harlem.
About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, health care and sustainability. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
SOURCE Union Settlement Association