Our Eastern Kentucky Office of Digital Literacy is now available for those living in Wolfe, Elliot, Jackson, Magoffin, and Owsley counties.
SOAR founded the Eastern Kentucky Office of Digital Literacy to help every resident:
- Use the internet to find remote jobs
- Participate in local and community events
- Take steps to improve their health through Telehealth
- Access education and career training
- Improve one’s lifestyle by being able to “connect” with friends and family virtually
Having access to broadband internet is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity.
Being connected to fast and reliable internet will only equalize the playing field for Eastern Kentuckians.
Eastern Kentucky communities are steadily gaining access to high-speed broadband. We owe a lot of thanks to the hard work of community coalitions and partners across the region.
While this progress is a major step in the right direction, the work can’t stop here. We won’t get the full value from our investments until every resident can take full advantage of the internet and the opportunities it offers.
The Eastern Kentucky Office of Digital Literacy has been a part of our Blueprint for Appalachia since day one. A generous grant from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) in September of 2022 makes our first 3 years of programming possible.
Let’s explore what the Eastern Kentucky Office of Digital Literacy will offer our communities — and how you can use our services to support economic mobility for your residents.
Say “hello” to Lizzie, your Digital Navigator
There is now a Digital Navigator (DN) for SOAR’s Eastern Kentucky Office of Digital Literacy Office: Lizzie Gillum!
[If you record a quick video of you introducing yourself, we can add it here!]
The work from Lizzie will provide:
- Educating residents’ on their internet options
- Provide 1:1 assistance on affordability program applications, including the FCC Affordable Connectivity Program
- Digital skills training for residents to make the most of their new connections and devices.
Our collaboration with local schools, internet service providers, and community action agencies will make this work possible.
SOAR’s continued partnerships with the University of Kentucky Extension Offices and local public libraries will also support the program with meeting space in each county.
As SOAR’s DN, Lizzie will work with residents that meet at least one of the following conditions:
- Households with no access to the internet or a connected device
- Low-income, work-eligible adults
- Adults over 25 without a high school degree
- Residents eligible for FCC subsidy programs, such as the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline
Digital skills training Lizzie can help you with
Digital skills training will help bridge the digital divide.
“I always explain digital skills as trying to ride a bike for the first time,” Lizzie says. “It’s really difficult at first. You have to figure out how to pedal and steer, all while keeping yourself upright. Learning those skills alone can be very overwhelming. That’s what our office is for. We’re more than happy to help you learn how to navigate your device. And I promise, once you figure it out, it’ll be just like riding a bike.”
The Eastern Kentucky Office of Digital Literacy will provide 1:1 training opportunities to residents seeking to improve their internet-related skill sets. Sessions will cover critical-need topics such as:
- Using a search engine effectively
- Identifying quality information sources
- Rooting outsources promoting misinformation and disinformation
- Accessing telehealth resources
After undergoing digital skills training, more individuals struggling with unemployment or underemployment will understand best practices to go after high-value opportunities online. Distressed communities will have greater access to grow and thrive — which will be the most significant and broadest benefit we expect from this investment.
Get involved with the Eastern Kentucky Office of Digital Literacy
If you live in Elliott, Jackson, Magoffin, Morgan, Owsley, or Wolfe counties, Lizzie wants to hear from you!
Submit an interest form today to signal your interest.
Lizzie will get in touch after your submission to confirm receipt.
If you have friends, family, or neighbors who would benefit from our services (and live inside these 6 counties), please encourage them to complete a form, too.