Google Community Leaders Program Provides Free Web Literacy Classes

The Google Community Leaders Program (CLP) is a student run, Google sponsored initiative to close the digital divide by providing free web literacy classes to musicians, small businesses and at risk youth in New Orleans.

Google Community Leaders ProgramThe Google CLP Edu Team has recently started working with local students at Kipp Central City Academy in a twice a week class that teachers blogging one day and coding the next.

The mission is to empower New Orleans residents with the skills needed to flourish in the digital age and pursue their own unique passion.

“We’ve had a great time getting blogs set up for nine students,” said Evan Walter, who became involved with CLP as a freshman at Tulane when he was looking to get more involved in the community.

Walter is joined by over 20 other student volunteers from Dillard, Loyola, Tulane, and Xavier. The volunteers work with the community to help people better understand how to leverage free internet services from basics like email to advanced skills like social media management.

KIPP is a 1-to-1 school meaning each of the students has their own laptop, in this case a Google ChromeBook. “They are already so proficient in using computers that we are able to dig way deeper with the students,” revealed Ben Lamport, another Tulane volunteer and the site manager at the school.

CLP is offered in seven other locations ranging from Provo to Harlem.

Lamport added that while the program’s expansion plans are undefined at the moment, he hopes to see CLP solidly embedded at KIPP and one of two other schools in the area. “A year from now it would be awesome to have hit the training every day mark thanks to reaching self-sustaining and consistent volunteer numbers.”

Expansion is limited by the number of volunteers they are able to gather to work with, and so their first step is to increase resources before figuring out where else Google CLP can be helpful.

In a year I think we could really make an impact if we could distill our experiences this year into four to five 2-month curriculums we could roll out at any interested schools,” said Walter.