HUD to Highlight How Its Community Technology Centers Connect Residents to Opportunities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that Neighborhood Networks Week 2009 will be held August 3-8. The weeklong observance raises public awareness about center programs that help residents become self-sufficient and showcases the achievements of individuals living in HUD insured and assisted housing communities. It also honors those who help make Neighborhood Networks a successful community-based Initiative.

Local events, which range from open houses and grand openings to job fairs and community festivals, provide centers and individuals with the recognition they deserve and strengthen center-community bonds. National events bring together Neighborhood Networks centers staff and stakeholders from across the nation, and remind them that they are part of a national Initiative.

What’s in Store for Neighborhood Networks Week 2009
Entitled Neighborhood Networks: A Community Asset, Neighborhood Networks Week 2009 will spotlight the many ways centers make communities a better place to live and work. To complement the local events to be hosted by centers, HUD will sponsor a variety of activities, including the Webcasting of four live events via the Internet. See activities below.

  • August 3, National Kickoff Event Web Cast’ 1:30 p.m. EDT
    The Parkways Neighborhood Technology Resource Center in Chicago, Illinois, will be the virtual host site of the Neighborhood Networks Week 2009 national kickoff event that showcases the achievements of the youth who participated in the Internet program. The event will spotlight the center’s partnership with After School Matters, a nonprofit organization that teams with many Chicago city and local community-based organizations to expand out-of-school opportunities and provide hands-on job training for teens.

    August 4, Do It for You Day Event Web Cast, 11 a.m. EDT
    In observance of Do It for You Day, the Village at Lakeview Neighborhood Networks Center in Edgewood, Maryland, will host a graduation ceremony for residents who have completed workforce development programs at the center and successfully passed the General Educational Development (GED) exam and/or obtained employment as a result. HUD will Web cast the one-hour ceremony during which recent graduates will share their success stories.

    Do It for You Day was established by HUD in 2007 as a way to encourage more centers to participate in Neighborhood Networks Week. Centers are encouraged to showcase their programs and services that help residents achieve greater self-sufficiency, such as those programs that help residents get a job, advance in their current job, or further their education. They also promote their programs and services that help residents overcome the obstacles to self-sufficiency, such as those programs that relate to childcare and transportation.

    August 5, Get Connected Day Webinar, 2 p.m. EDT
    For Get Connected Day, Neighborhood Networks will host a one-hour webinar that teaches center staff how to use website creation tools. This free online resource enables staff to create a center Web site and give their center a cyber-presence. The Webinar is for participants of all technical skill levels, from novice to advanced Web site creators. Get Connected Day enables centers to highlight how they deliver technology access and enhance residents’ technological skills, and showcase the critical role technology plays in today’s society.

    August 6, Know Your Neighbors Day, All Day
    Know Your Neighbors Day focuses on strengthening neighbor-to-neighbor bonds and building stronger communities. Centers across the nation will host community events, such as block parties, potlucks, barbecues, festivals, or open houses.

    August 7, Neighborhood Networks Week 2009 Closing Event Web Cast, 2 p.m. EDT
    The final HUD-sponsored event will be a Webcast that spotlights the partnership between the Town and Country Family Learning Opportunity Center and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The Web cast will describe how UCSD undergraduate and graduate students visit the center each day to serve as tutors to school-aged children. Contributors will describe how the partnership was started, how centers can form similar partnerships with their local academic institutions, and how to share the mutual benefits that a partnership will produce.

About Neighborhood Networks

HUD created Neighborhood Networks in September 1995 as one of the first federal initiatives to promote self-sufficiency for low- and moderate-income citizens. Through Neighborhood Networks, HUD encourages property owners and managers of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured and – assisted housing to establish and maintain onsite Neighborhood Networks centers. HUD’s intent is to increase residents’ self-sufficiency by delivering computer access and a variety of workforce development programs. Nearly 15 years later, Neighborhood Networks continues to have a positive and lasting impact on families and communities across the country.

For more information on Neighborhood Networks Week 2009 and instructions on how to participate in virtual events, visit www.NeighborhoodNetworks.org or call the Neighborhood Networks Information Center toll-free at (888) 312-2743. The hearing impaired may access the number via TTY by calling (800) 877-8339.

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