June 16, 2000

South County Parents Leap Into The Digital Age

National City — The San Diego Futures Foundation (SDFF) is partnering with the Microsoft Corporation to provide free computers as high-tech graduation presents for 57 parents of National City Middle School students. The parents themselves are new graduates of a Computer Literacy Pilot Program created by the National city Adult School (NCAS). SDFF is donating a Pentium computer and Microsoft, free operating systems and software to each parent who completes the 18-week course.

"I am thrilled to honor the graduates of this ground-breaking program," said San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, "Microsoft and the San Diego Futures Foundation have created a program that leaps across the digital divide to give National City parents the technological tools to guide their children to success." Supervisor Cox and his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors created the San Diego Futures Foundation as part of the unprecedented decision to privatize the County's computer and telecommunications operations to the Pennant Alliance in 1999. The Foundation was formed in an effort to improve access to technology to help bridge the digital divide in San Diego County. Pennant Alliance partners include Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Pacific Bell and Lucent Technologies.

The Computer Literacy Pilot Program was launched in January in order to provide National City families access to information technology. The program was designed specifically for parents to meet their need to learn the same computer skills that their children are able to learn in school. The class teaches basic computer skills including: keyboarding; Windows operation; word processing, spreadsheets and the Internet. A second Computer Literacy Program is scheduled to begin at NCAS on July 17.

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