Push to get people connected

Computers in Homes national co-ordinator Di Daniels spoke to members of the Marlborough Pasifika community in Blenheim last night, encouraging families without the financial means or access to the internet to get connected and get online.

About 30 community members, including REAP community education organiser Ailsa Carey and Marlborough Girls' College principal Karen Stewart turned out at Bohally Intermediate School library for the session.

Ms Daniels encouraged people to sign up for the education programme which provided families with a computer package worth about $4000 including a recycled computer, 12 months' subsidised internet access, training and technical support.

The programme offered isolated families in the community the chance to be part of the "online world", Ms Daniels said.

Being connected benefited everyone, but especially students who improved their literacy and achievement levels as a result, she said.

The 20 hours' training for the programme will begin in term one next year. Payment for the subsidised internet connection ranges from about $5 for broadband to free for dial-up.

Bohally Intermediate principal Andrew Read said he hoped everyone at the presentation and others who had not made it would take up the opportunity to sign up for the programme and "get involved".

Computers in Homes was established in 2000 to raise the literacy level of children from low decile schools. It has grown to promote learning and digital knowledge for other members of the community.

The Marlborough Express