|HUD No. 00-136|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Thursday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||June 15, 2000|
HUD ANNOUNCES TWO NEW PARTNERSHIPS TO PROVIDE DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY, TECHNOLOGY-BASED EDUCATION PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today that HUDs Neighborhood Networks will work in two innovative partnerships -- one with a San Diego-based company and one with the White House and Department Health and Human Services -- to bring digital opportunity and technology-based education programs to Americas Hispanic families and others left behind by the technology revolution.
President Clinton highlighted the partnerships in his speech at todays White House Hispanic Education Strategy Summit. The President told the audience of more than 100 leading Hispanic educators, business leaders and government officials -- including HUD Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez -- that HUD would form a partnership with Lightspan, Inc., an educational software and Internet products company, to provide educational technology resources to HUDs more than 600 Neighborhood Networks community technology centers in public and assisted housing communities across the country.
The President also announced a new partnership among HUD, HHS and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans that will provide bilingual information to parents through Neighborhood Networks and other community-based programs.
The new efforts will work through the Neighborhood Networks Initiative, an innovative private/public collaboration to establish computer-based multi-service centers to help people in public and assisted housing learn critical computer skills and prepare for 21st century jobs. The Neighborhood Networks help residents enhance their computer literacy, launch new careers, make the transition from welfare to work, expand their access to needed health services, and participate in inter-generational learning activities.
"Just as our partnership with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has allowed astronauts to e-visit with children in Neighborhood Networks centers, these new partnerships will open new doors for residents of public and assisted housing and help direct Hispanic families to Head Start and other early childhood development programs," said Cuomo.
HUDs partnership with HHS and the White House Initiative will provide English and Spanish language materials and educational forums to parents of young children through the Neighborhood Networks and other community-based programs. The parents will receive information on early brain development research, parenting tips, how to access child care subsidies and tax credits, how to choose a child care center, what Head Start has to offer, and other family support services. The effort will begin this summer with pilots in six locations across the country serving Latino communities.
HUD will provide informational materials to Hispanics attending courses and forums at Neighborhood Networks and then host education and outreach events to provide bilingual information and services that direct Hispanic families to early childhood programs and provide HUD information on housing issues.
HUDs partnership with Lightspan will
provide educational technology resources at Neighborhood Networks across
the country. The effort will be carried out through 10 technology-based
pilot programs in key HUD public and assisted housing communities serving
a large number of Hispanic families. Two of the pilots are being established
in a partnership facilitated by HUD and Governor Thomas R. Carper of Delaware
with Lightspan, the Delaware State Housing Authority, Chase Manhattan Bank
and Greenwood Trust.
Lightspan will provide on-line content for parents, instructors and children that includes: specialized tools that simplify online searching for appropriate and safe web activities; collaborative instructional projects; learning activities related to state and national standards; a Parent and Family Center for tips and activities that help with homework; parent support systems for health and child development; and support to help make instructors, families and children comfortable with technology.
HUDs Neighborhood Networks will have access to on-line interactive encyclopedias and other reference and research tools; on-line templates for building web sites for each center and "wizard-driven" tools for each project; on-site staff development services and on-line technical support; web mentors -- teachers and experts from each centers "home" state -- who will provide immediate feedback and help; instruction for HUD Neighborhood Networks staff to become certified Lightspan on-line mentors; an online Spanish/English Family Center; and an ongoing process to work with the Lightspan-certified HUD web mentors. All the Neighborhood Networks will be able to use the Internet resources that Lightspan provides the pilot centers at no additional cost.