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Blog Post • July 4, 2022

Meet Allison Dougan – American Connection Corps Fellow

Project: Marion County Digital Literacy Program

Nestled in North Central Arkansas, Marion County has over 16,000 residents. This rural county is widely known for its gorgeous mountains and crystal clear lakes. However, despite its prosperous natural assets, a large and diverse part of the rural population does not have adequate digital literacy skills to prosper in our highly digitalized world.

We have curated a digital literacy program specifically targeting parents and families of k-12 students in the rural communities of Marion County. This program will offer basic, though essential, digital literacy training and certificates through the Yellville-Summit School District providing both workforce development and the skills parents need to aid their students with school. Working side by side with community partners our goal is to educate and prepare the parents and families of the community.

In a fully digitalized era, the most vulnerable of our society is being left behind without access to broadband, devices, and digital skills. I’ve watched hundreds of students and families suffer from the lack of digital knowledge that other parents and families have. Students must rely on their own limited knowledge of computers and the internet in order to succeed, which creates a divide within the education system as the parents can’t help their students or access programs available through schools for helping their students succeed. This program provides the essential education needed to aid in closing one of the most significant divides our country faces right now, closing the gap between parents, their students, and school districts.

  • Digital Literacy training for parents and families of k-12 students for both workforce development and aiding their students in their own studies. Goal to enable 3,500 family members each year to complete the program and receive a certificate for their resume.
  • A school counselor will be present during the training to teach the parents and family members about net neutrality and protecting their students online.
  • The program is designed for long-term implementation, with the minimum length being three years.

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