3Com Corporation Announces Second Round
Urban Challenge to Help Bridge the Digital Divide in City Schools
3Com Corporation has announced that
it will issue a second round of Urban Challenge Grants to cities to help bridge
the digital divide by working with mayors to connect their communities and
improve access to educational, health care and other city resources.
At the 68th Winter Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors the winners of the first round of Urban Challenge Grants were awarded to the mayors of 10 cities for a total of $1 million. The grants of $100,000 each include technology products, network design and consulting services.
3Com will extend the Urban Challenge
to 10 additional cities for a total of another $1 million. The application
deadline for the new round of grants is April 15, 2000 and the winners will be
announced in June 2000 at the 68th Annual Conference of Mayors in Seattle.
The 3Com Urban Challenge innovative approach has resulted in exciting examples of public/private partnerships to address the digital divide in cities. The winners of the first round of grants are: Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, Charleston (SC) Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Chaska (MN) Mayor Robert Roepke, Chester (PA) Mayor Dominic Pileggi, Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, Glasgow (KY) Mayor Charles B. Honeycutt, Madison Mayor Susan J.M. Bauman, New Orleans Mayor Marc H. Morial, Pontiac (MI) Mayor Walter Moore, and Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci, Jr.
To give you an idea of what cities are planning to do with their grants, below are brief descriptions of the Denver and New Orleans Awards.
Denver Urban Challenge Award
Under the leadership of Conference President Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, the City of Denver has already made great strides toward establishing a Metropolitan Area Network that links all the buildings and agencies of city government. Denver Public Schools has established 130 wide Area networks (WANs) serving administration and 120 schools. The District’s hubs serve 15,000 computers with more than half of these located in school buildings. With 66,000 students, Denver must still double the number of computers and increase the capacity of its networking foundation to reach a desired ratio of one computer for every four students.
In 1996 Mayor Webb pledged to support four goals established by the Denver Board of Education. Those goals are that children:
In partnership with 3Com and the Denver Public Schools, the City will use their Urban Challenge Grant in the following areas:
New Orleans Urban Challenge Award
The City of New Orleans in partnership with the New Orleans Public Schools and the New Orleans Enterprise Community will use 3Com’s Urban Challenge Grant to implement an innovative program to reach school dropouts and at-risk youth to help them complete their education. Youth Opportunity Initiative of New Orleans Works (YO! NOW) is a comprehensive and seamless system of youth services that link existing services and community resources and support to try to meet the needs of the city’s youth.
YO! NOW will utilize a network of kiosks spread throughout the city where youth can gain information on educational programs and apply for assistance on-line. Services include tutoring, mentoring, counseling, and social supports. Using a “video game” design self-assessment tests allow youth to examine their individual situation, identify critical issues and opportunities within their social and community environments, and to identify personal strengths and weaknesses. Information on educational programs that fit their situation leads to formulating “next steps.” Kiosks will be located in Youth One-Stp Centers as well as New Orleans recreation Department centers and Job Corps locations.
New Orleans is targeting this new program at middle, junior, and senior high schools in the New Orleans Enterprise Community (NOEC), which consists of eight neighborhoods within the city having the highest population of at-risk youth. The YO! NOW initiative exemplifies the commitment of the City of New Orleans to the following key education priorities:
3Com’s Urban Challenge Grant will
be used to network the kiosks and to centrally located servers. The Grant will
also help complete the networks in the public schools so that educational
information can be easily shared across networks. Implementation can begin