National Digital Inclusion Week is May 7 - 11, and United Way of Utah County, Google Fiber, Provo City Mayor’s Office and Provo School District are working together to ensure that more people have access to the Internet and the opportunity to thrive in the ever-increasing digital world. 

Digital Inclusion Week “teach-a-skill, learn-a-skill” events are scheduled throughout the week for special populations, and individuals and students can win prizes donated by local businesses if they teach or learn a digital skill and post selfies with #ProvoGotSkills on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“More than 60 million people in the U.S. don’t use the Internet, and without web access, it’s increasingly difficult for people to connect with family, apply for jobs or access crucial resources,” said Bill Hulterstrom, president and CEO of United Way of Utah County. “That’s why we’ve worked with several community partners to provide opportunities for seniors, school children and adults to learn and share digital ‘how-tos’ throughout the week.

“But anyone can participate in Digital Inclusion Week. It takes just a minute to open up the online world to a friend, family member or neighbor. You might teach a senior to use email, show grandparents how to video chat, teach children to use the Internet safely, or help a friend create an online resume,” added Hulterstrom. “And we’re making it fun for anyone to participate with our #ProvoGotSkills social media campaign that offers great prizes from more than 15 local businesses including restaurants, eateries, movie theaters and family recreation venues, for those who participate.”

A Digital Inclusion Week kickoff event took place May 8, at the Provo Recreation Center. Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi demonstrated how to use YouTube, and Google Fiber and United Way volunteers sat down with seniors and give digital demonstrations.

Also, this week:

  • On May 9, Google Fiber and Mountainland Head Start will host a Family STEM Night, held at the Provo Recreation Center, 320 W. 500 North. The event will be devoted to teaching and learning STEM skills with Head Start families from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Teen Tech NightChange the World, The Magic of Working in Tech, is slated for May 10, at the Provo City Library, 550 N. University Ave., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aspecial guest from Google Fiber will talk about working at Google, the tech industry, start-ups and how we can use technology to help others.
  • On May 11, Google Fiber and The United Way will bring Google Expeditions, a virtual reality learning experience, to students at Franklin Elementary School from 9 - 11 am. 
  • Also, on May 11, at Franklin Elementary from 2 to 2:30 p.m., a Google Fiber representative will present a hands-on Makey-Makey demonstration to faculty members during their Teacher Technical Professional Development session. Makey-Makey is an online program developed by MIT students to help teachers engage their students in using STEM skills to invent things.

For Digital Inclusion Week, the United Way, through a Google Fiber sponsorship, will be providing up to $5,000 in tech supplies to Provo schools and classrooms.