AT&T is opening a new Connected Learning Center inside the Boys & Girls Club of Pinoleville Pomo Nation in Ukiah to provide internet access and education tools to those who face connectivity barriers holding them back from participating in the digital world. In addition, AT&T has made a $50,000 contribution to the Boys & Girls Club for additional support of the center.
The opening of the Connected Learning Center is part of AT&T’s commitment to help bridge the digital divide in California, which includes investing into programs that help people and communities develop digital literacy skills to thrive in our modern world.
This is the second Connected Learning Center on tribal lands in the U.S., the sixth that AT&T has opened in California and is the 27th AT&T Connected Learning Center® nationwide. In all, we plan to launch more than 50 total centers across the country by mid-2024. The goal of the centers is to help connect more students and families through free access to the internet and computers, as well as educational resources that teach the skills needed to use it safely and responsibly.
The Pinoleville Pomo Nation secures tribal government, affirms and protects tribal sovereignty and maintains government-to-government relationships. The Nation is dedicated to developing and maintaining co-operative alliances that benefit the Nation and local community. The Nation sees its community being healthy spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally, and is committed to the preservation of its history, culture and traditions. The Nation provides for the health, safety and general welfare of its citizens, while promoting economic self-sufficiency and personal independence.
Why is this important? Once they leave their school site, students on the Tribal Nations in the Ukiah region have limited access to the internet, computers or resources needed to benefit from the online world, part of the issue known as the digital divide. In fact, over 30 percent of the population on tribal lands do not have access to broadband infrastructure that provides minimally adequate speeds.
AT&T is opening Connected Learning Centers across the nation with local nonprofit organizations that are already adept at supporting underserved populations within their community, including some of our nation’s most vulnerable students and families.
Across the Golden State, AT&T is investing in our networks, providing affordable high-speed internet and connecting Californians to greater possibility. In California, we invested nearly $8.6 billion in our wireless and wireline network infrastructure from 2020-2022.
How AT&T will make it happen
The AT&T Connected Learning Centers are designed to help tackle the digital divide by providing free access to a range of digital resources for students and families all under one roof, including: high-speed AT&T Fiber internet, Wi-Fi, computers, education resources and tutoring and mentoring from AT&T employees and other community leaders.
The free, educational resources within the center will provide students with engaging content and activities to support learning outside the classroom and help parents and caregivers build skills and confidence using technology. These include The Achievery, a free, digital learning platform created by AT&T, as well as free, digital literacy courses and workshops created with the Public Library Association.
As part of its ongoing commitment to championing digital inclusion for underserved communities, Dell Technologies donated Dell OptiPlex computers which feature integrated audio and webcams to support digital learning. Additionally, World Wide Technology, a Black-owned company, and the largest minority supplier of IT services globally, is providing configuration and installation services.
These efforts are part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative to help address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption.
AT&T is committed to advancing digital equity across California, and will continue to invest in community programs and services that expand broadband access. Already this year, more than 3,000 free laptops were given to students and families through our collaboration with community-based organizations throughout the state, including BAYCAT, 826 Valencia, Mission Bit, Charity Cultural Services, The Salvation Army Croc Center, The Village Project, The Fresno Center, Community Coalition of South Los Angeles, Concerned Black Men of Los Angeles, The RightWay Foundation, San Diego County YMCA and several Tribal communities, including Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Rauma Band of Luiseño Indians and San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians.
“I am pleased to announce the opening of the AT&T Connected Learning Center, a pivotal step in our mission to uplift our community and empower our tribal citizens,” said Leona L. Williams, Chairperson, Pinoleville Pomo Nation. “This center will provide invaluable access to high-speed internet, bridging the digital divide and offering countless opportunities for growth and advancement. Aligning perfectly with our vision for a prosperous and connected future, this initiative reflects our commitment to empowering our tribal citizens and ensuring their access to essential resources.”
“Our investment in the AT&T Connected Learning Center at the Boys & Girls Club of Pinoleville Pomo Nation directly reflects our commitment to get more Californians connected and make an impact in the communities we serve,” said Marc Blakeman, AT&T California State President. “The center will give local families access to free internet connectivity, educational and mentoring resources to help them succeed in digital school and job environments.”
“We are thrilled about the opening of the AT&T Connected Learning Center,” said Sparrow Steele, Director, Boys & Girls Club of Pinoleville. “This incredible venture promises to ignite a wave of excitement among our Boys & Girls Club, offering them access to high-speed internet and a wealth of educational opportunities. We believe this endeavor perfectly embodies our mission to empower the youth with knowledge and skills, opening doors to boundless possibilities for their future. Our team eagerly anticipates the positive impact this center will have on our children’s growth and development.”