SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield, in partnership with Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno, announced it received a $25,000 grant from Comcast to support digital-literacy programming and access to the internet at the YMCA’s North End Youth Center, which also features a Comcast Lift Zone.
“At Comcast, we believe in fostering communities where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, and we know we make the biggest impact when we partner with organizations like the YMCA of Greater Springfield to help bridge the digital divide,” said Dan Glanville, vice president of Government Affairs and Community Impact for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes Western Mass. “We are proud to provide the YMCA’s North End Youth Center with a grant to support digital skills training and equipment, which will enhance the Comcast Lift Zone we installed at the center to provide a space for students to access free internet connectivity.”
Comcast has installed more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones across the country, with 64 located across Massachusetts. These Lift Zones, which are based in community centers like the YMCA of Greater Springfield, have helped students stay connected and get online to do their schoolwork and more. Free WiFi connectivity is essential to many youth in Springfield, including the teens the YMCA serves at its North End Youth Center on Dwight Street.
“This grant from Comcast will support technology programming and digital skills training for teens here at our North End Youth Center technology lab,” said Dexter Johnson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “Our goal is to teach virtual coding and robotics in our after-school teen program, components of which include computer programming, information technologies, and video-game design. This is all possible because of the increased bandwidth provided by the Comcast Lift Zone. We are grateful to Comcast for this opportunity and for their financial support of our technology programming.”
The after-school teen programming at the YMCA is funded by community support and hosts more than 300 teens each year. There will be at least 60 openings available for teens to participate in the upcoming coding and robotics program. For more information on the Y-AIM teen program, visit www.springfieldy.org or call (413) 739- 6955.