Digital Literacy Training for Vermont

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – As part of AT&T’s support for digital literacy initiatives nationwide, the company is helping the Public Library Association (PLA) bring free, bilingual, and in-person digital literacy workshops to nearly 160 libraries across the country, including in Vermont. These contributions are part of our $2 billion commitment made in 2021 to help bridge the digital divide.

The selected libraries in Vermont are:

Brandon Free Public Library

Springfield Town Library

The workshops will utilize online digital literacy courses available through AT&T ScreenReady® and PLA Digital Learn. Created in collaboration with PLA, the courses teach skills ranging from technology basics to avoiding scams.

“Everyone deserves the power to use technology with confidence,” said Owen Smith, President – AT&T Vermont. “Our collaboration with PLA will help students of all ages gain the knowledge and tools necessary to harness the digital world’s extraordinary potential. Now more than ever it is critical to ensure the right resources are getting into the right hands and we are honored to play a role in this effort across Vermont.”

“Our nation’s public libraries serve as powerful partners in advancing digital equity and lifelong learning for all,” said PLA President Maria McCauley. “PLA is excited to team up with AT&T to enhance and expand our digital literacy resources to reach new families and communities through AT&T, their connected learning centers, and local organizations.”

Public libraries play a vital role in providing access to the Internet, devices, digital content, and knowledgeable staff to all, particularly to people of color and youth in low-income households. In 2019, nearly 54 million Americans accessed the Internet in public places, and public libraries alone hosted nearly 224 million public Internet use sessions.

Additionally, in Vermont, the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington has received $22,000 in support from the AT&T Foundation over the past year to support the club’s Early Promise program. The goal of the club’s Early Promise program is to reduce and eventually eliminate the income-based academic achievement gap in the community of young people we serve. A crucial part of these efforts includes helping club members build the digital literacy skills necessary to succeed in the modern workplace. Club educators integrate these lessons into the broader curriculum and individualized tutoring, ensuring that club members receive a balanced lesson plan.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 16 percent of U.S. adults are not digitally literate. In addition, about 40% of disconnected students face significant adoption barriers including insufficient digital literacy skills, according to a report from Common Sense Media. To close the digital divide it’s important that families have accessible and affordable internet connectivity, but equally as important is that they have the digital literacy skills needed to use and benefit from the internet.

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About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

We’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities, and improving lives. As part of our companywide $2 billion commitment from 2021 to 2023 to address the digital divide, we launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity, technology, digital literacy, and education solutions to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Since 2008, we’ve committed to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.

About Public Library Association

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or


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