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How to Start & Run a

Community Computer Center

Andrew Sears

Coordinator, PREP Community Computer Center, Bruce Wall Ministries
Director, Association of Christian Community Computer Centers

“Giving People Skills to Make a Living and a Foundation to Make a Life”

 Background and Need
 Ideas for Running a Computer Center
– What are people currently doing
– About the Association of Christian Community
Computer Centers
– Ideas for ministry from our experience at the
PREP Community Computer Center
 How to Start a Center

What is the “Digital Divide”?

The “digital divide” is the gap that separates
those with access and training on computers and
the Internet from those without.

Digital Divide Across Income & Race .

Digital Divide Across Income & Race .

5% per year Once provided 52% of jobs to some groups. The New Economy Manufacturing Computer Industry *** Jobs Down 55-65%* Jobs Grown to 7. 65% of all jobs use computers but now only 28%** 90% of all jobs use computer- related technologies * In a range of Northern cities between 1967-1987.4 million & Increasing 6. When Work Disappears ** Statistics are for inner-city black men in Chicago *** Other sources include Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Commerce .

000 IT jobs remain vacant but now only 28%** nationwide and 1. The New Economy Manufacturing Computer Industry *** Jobs Down 55-65%* Average wage in IT-producing industries was $58.000 Once provided 52% of jobs to some groups. 346. When Work Disappears ** Statistics are for inner-city black men in Chicago *** Other sources include Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Commerce .7 million need to be filled by 2003 * In a range of Northern cities between 1967-1987.

Christians can also lead the computer literacy drive Books Basic Literacy Computers Computer Literacy  This is one of the best funded areas for serving the community  Schools and the government can only do so much . The Church and the Digital Divide  The term “Sunday School” originated from a major literacy drive by the church in the 1800’s.

Ideas for Running a Computer Center .

000 community computer centers in the US and it is likely that over 100 of these are Christian centers – Range from ministries with less than 5 computers to ministries with over 50 computers . What is a Christian Community Computer Center  Christian Community Computer Center Defined: any ministry using computers as an outreach to serve the community – There are over 1.

Certified Computer Training Refurbishing Centers Entrepreneurship Computer Programs Classes Economic Arts/Media Ministry Community Development Computer After School Job Training Programs Centers Gospel Missions Teen Ministry Walk-in Adult Education Computer Access .

org  E-mail: info@acccc. Association of Christian Community Computer Centers  Mission: – To support and promote the use of computers and technology in Christian outreach ministries – To assist the 60+ identified existing Christian community computer centers and help others get started – To partner with national organizations to support CCCC’s  Pursuing partnerships with or www. Mission Year and CTCNet  Web: www.

but may have a fee in the future  Benefits – Keep informed of events of interest to Community Computer . Grants. Joining ACCCC  Joinfor free now. Computer Donations – Share program information – Participate in future joint programs  Sign up on sheet or send E-mail to info@acccc.

PREP Community Computer Center  Joint Program of – Bruce Wall Ministries – Dorchester Temple Baptist Church – Cambridge Vineyard Christian Fellowship –  PREP Activities – 15+ Computer Classes to 220 students each semester – Walk-In Computer Center with 20 visits per day – Youth Run Web Design Business – After School Technology Curriculum – Mentoring: provides relational time with students – Saturday Lunch: provides relational time with students .

Sponsorship and Growth  In first year.000 in donations from: – Microsoft – Adobe – Filene Foundation – PowerUP – Gateway Computer – Individuals  Now have a staff of nine and about 30 volunteers  Have two computer rooms with a total of 40 computers . received over $300.

500 visits) Using Computers Establish contact After School Technology Curriculum (30) .Spiritual and Skill Development Plan Program Areas Goals •Provide Experience and Credentials Needed for Jobs Student Advancement Youth •Provide discipleship Staff & Certifications (20) •Practice Material and Advance Learning Get Mentored (50) •Develop deeper relationship Volunteer/Assist with Classes • Build Skills Needed Nine Week Classes for Employment (250 students) • Develop Initial Relationship Two-Week Classes (250 students) Decrease Barriers to Walk-in Center (2.

Ideas for Church Involvement  Establish Computer Ministry within churches  Great partnership opportunity for suburban and urban churches – Many people in suburban churches will get involved in outreach ministries in urban communities because of their interest in computers – Great opportunity for reconciliation and transformation – PREP Volunteers: 20 suburban an 10 urban (most raised up through program)  Classes provide good opportunity for volunteers – Have teaching assistants who train their first semester to teach the class while helping with the class .

see appendix for info on connecting a network and Internet connection sharing)  We’ve found youth want the advanced and media classes while more adults want the basic classes  Youth staff supervise our walk-in center. Ideas for Youth  Computers can easily become a component of an after school program  Walk in center is popular with teens – Music mixing popular allowing them to write a CD of their songs (get free download of Hip Hop eJay from Internet) – Internet access is popular (high speed connection: DSL or cable needed. T-Shirts. but another adult is always in the building – great opportunity for youth to lead. Graphics Design. Video Production . learn and be discipled  Youth Run Business: Web design business.

Ideas for Classes  Make a major effort initially to let the community know – This is needed to have applicants at start of semester – We handed out 3.000+ flyers & table-tents on street.000 residents  Meals between classes can provide opportunities for relationship building  Project based classes work well  Teens and adults can work in same classes. stores & restaurants – Got mailing list of our community from Boston’s Voter Registration Records and mailed to 10. in schools. but adults taking classes with younger children does not work  See list of classes in Appendix .

e. Issues to Consider  Computer ministry should be relational ministry – “It’s not about the technology.”  Center needs to be in an organization that is indigenous to community being served and raise up indigenous leaders  Web filtering software on all computers (see appendix for list of filtering software) – Some software programs do not filter Web based E-mail (i. it’s about the people. Hotmail) – We do not allow chat or non-educational games  Security is a major issue: – BWM has an alarm system and motion detectors and are installing a “panic” button for lab monitors and video entry cameras  Software licensing is an issue .

How to Start a Computer Center .

network. Internet connection  Software  Advertising/marketing  Money: varies depending on your goals . Things You Need  God’s support  People: staff support/volunteers – Technical support is a must – Can get work-study students from colleges for tech support  Space: to house computers – Look for space in churches and Multiservice centers  Equipment: computers.

Getting Equipment & Software  Make announcements in churches that you are looking for computer donations from individuals and companies – relational method works best – Suburban churches may have many people in companies with computers to donate – Specify minimum requirements and types of computers  We use Jumpstart software with kids  Get 20 new Gateway computers by joining PowerUP (see grants section) .

com) – Cost $125 and must be Non profit 501(c)(3) and use software for service to community – Cost $225 for 5 used computers 486 & above laptops/desktops – Network hubs for $50 – Get copies of most major software for $30 (Windows.  Use Compumentor for software discounts (www.giftsinkind. Adobe products. clothes. Getting Equipment & Software through Gifts-in-Kind & Compumentor  Register with Gifts in Kind International ( – Most major software for only $30 and no registration fee .compumentor. etc. projectors. etc) – Provide great discounts (90% off) on office products. Office 2000.

powerup. 2001 and August – Get 20 new gateway computers with software – Get $20-40k in funding over 3 years – Looking to partner with faith-based groups with after-school & teen programs (awarding thousands of grants targeting youth) – Deadlines: March 15.powerup. 2001 – Requires that you have 2 full-time staff that can help with lab (but do not have to spend all their time on the lab) – Application at: www. Getting Grants  PowerUP (www.pdf .

com)  HUD Neighborhood Networks Initiative will fund centers in housing projects (which Christian groups could run) .287.000 – To apply must first pay $100 to join CTCNet (www. and you select the staff – Should open application process around Feb. Getting Grants  CTCNET AmeriCorps/VISTA Grant – Provides full time staff positions for a year for $2. 2001 – Contact Peter Miller of CTCNet at peterm@igc. – Have some restrictions on these staff “leading religious services” during paid time. but one of the most open gov’t programs toward faith-based groups. (order on or 617.7371  Get list of technology grants – Directory of Computer and High Technology Grants ($53) from Research Grant Guides.  E-mail info@acccc.hud. but will have a fee to join in future  Visit  Call Andrew Sears at 617-876-2981  Join Community Technology Centers Network ( or www. hardware donations. share ideas.html . For More Information  Visit Association of Christian Community Computer Centers Web site and join E-mail list – Get information on grants. etc – Join for free now. get on E-mail list and go to national conference each June – Best information resource available  Visit HUD’s Neighborhood Networks at –

Appendix .

com)  X-Stop (  Net Shepherd (  Net Nanny (  CyberSnoop (  We Blocker (free at www.xstop.solidoak. Web Site Filtering Software  CleanWeb (  Safesurf (  Watchdog (  CyberPatrol (  Cybersitter (www. – Ethernet Hub  Get 24 port hub from Gifts in Kind for $50  Get 16 port hub from www. Setting Up A Network & Internet Connection Sharing  Need the following – Computers with one Ethernet card in each – Ethernet cabling between computers and Ethernet hub (called RJ-45 cable) – Computer to serve as “firewall” to connect to network (with either 2 Ethernet cards or one Ethernet card and one modem) – Proxy or Firewall Software  An easy setup version comes with Windows Millennium Edition as Internet connection sharing  A good inexpensive package is Comsocks ( for about $200  Get from local computer stores .

Internet Connection Sharing Cable or DSL Modem Ethernet Cable Either/Or Internet Ethernet Cable Ethernet Cables Rehular Modem .  Other Card/Modem: get config from network provider – Client Machines  IP Address:  Subnet Mask: 255.0.0  Configure Options in Browser to Use Proxy at 10. Internet Connection Sharing (Configuration)  Do not need to do this if using Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing  Under TCP/IP Configuration – Server: on card connecting to clients  IP Address:  DNS: 10.Anything from 0 to 255 but must be unique  Gateway: 10.0.010  Call proxy/firewall software provider for help .0.10  Gateway: get from network provider  DNS: get from network provider  Subnet Mask: 255.

PREP Mission To serve those in urban centers by providing community computer access and education needed for employment. . spiritual development and to equip the Christian community to do the same.

An arrow indicates a prerequisite of either taking the class or good subject knowledge. Students are encouraged to take other classes on this track in future semesters. Office Track Classes Basics Intro to Computers Typing Intro to the Internet Intermediate Intro to Word Mentoring Intro to Excel Advanced Word MOUS Excel MOUS (or start Track Level Test PREP Test PREP for Multimedia) Goals Establish Basic Computer Knowledge. highly employable in office jobs. administrative assistant and temp work 1. . 2.

2. An arrow indicates a prerequisite of either taking the class or good subject knowledge. Students are encouraged to take other classes on this track in future semesters. . Graphic Designer or in Video Production. Multimedia Track Classes Basics Digital Music Studio Intermediate Web Design Entrepreneurship Graphics Design Video Production Advanced Youth Run Business Mentoring FrontPage 2000 Level Certification Goals Employment or Start New Businesses as as Web Designer. Get FrontPage Certification 1.

Volunteer Development Plan Spiritual Development Skill/Leadership Development Career Development Church Attendance Joining PREP Ministry Taking a Class (as needed) Small Group in Church Assisting with a class Certifications PREP Volunteer Community Career Advancement Teaching a class Racial Reconciliation Career Changes PREP Leadership Team SHAPE & Vocational Considerations Part/Full Time Staff/ Living Waters/ Starting Another Program Personal Healing .

Digital Divide Across Families .

Digital Divide Across Families .