The Boulder Flatirons Rotary Club received a District Simplified Grant in support of a new project to promote computer literacy in the local immigrant community through the
organization, Intercambio. Intercambio offers adult immigrants classes in English and other life situations, such as assistance with finances. Co- Founder, Lee Shainis said, “We began offering computer classes because there was an expressed need from our student population to improve computer literacy. Computer skills have a significant impact on economic sustainability, which is a focus of Intercambio”.
Twelve computers were purchased, along with four projectors and will be used in Intercambio’s Boulder and Longmont facilities. The program kicked off in the spring with nine classes offered, serving twenty-five adults. Boulder Flatirons Rotary Supports Computer Literacy Project in Boulder by Kristi Rutledge, President, Boulder Flatirons Rotary Club, rutledgeke @gmail.com “The technology gap is widening
and there are few affordable and accessible computer classes in Boulder,” says Lee. “Those who lack computer skills have a tougher time applying for jobs, communicating with schools and family members abroad, or staying informed about community
events. Some parents wanted to be able to monitor their children’s use of
the computer.” The students paid a small fee to participate in the program and
classes ranged from one-on-one to small groups up to five. Those who participated reported a 95% increase in their level of confidence when using computers.
Of the nine classes taught, Rotarians taught three of those classes. Instructors received training, including teaching basic computer fundamentals and instructions on how to lead classes and overcome language barriers. Then, each of the instructors were paired up with students based on their language abilities. “I love seeing the students
immediately put their new skill to use, says Lee. “Many have produced high-quality
resumés and are now using email for the first time. One student cried when seeing images of their hometown in Mexico on Google Earth”.
Intercambio was born in 2000 from a desire to help immigrants in Boulder County improve their quality of life. Co-Founder’s Shawn Camden and Lee Shainis initially addressed this need by providing English classes to help bridge the language gap between immigrants and non-immigrants. Their mission is to build understanding, respect and friendship across cultures through educational and intercultural opportunities.For More Information visit: