E2D (Eliminate the Digital Divide) and Town of Davidson Selected as Winners for First Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards
Davidson, NC Recognized as Leader in Digital Inclusion Efforts at National League of Cities Event
At the National League of Cities Congress of Cities event in Nashville, TN, on November 5, the Town of Davidson was selected as one of six winners of the inaugural Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards, presented by Next Century Cities, the National League of Cities, and Google Fiber. These awards celebrate city governments who are leading programs or empowering community-based organizations to tackle barriers to Internet adoption.
“Davidson is delighted to be recognized for this prestigious award by the National League of Cities, Next Century Cities, and Google Fiber,” said Davidson Mayor John Woods. “The social and intellectual wellbeing of Davidson citizens is fundamental to our community and E2D has been essential to our community’s response to the digital divide. We know that our school students are benefitting from the E2D program every day.”
The Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards featured two categories, with two overall winners selected in each category and an additional entrant in each category receiving recognition for the most innovative approach. The categories, the Leader in Digital Inclusion Best Practices and the Most Promising New Plan awards, recognize established and newly-launched or planned programs, respectively. E2D was recognized in the Leader in Digital Inclusion Best Practices – Most Innovative Program category.
E2D was created three years ago by a 12 year-old girl and her family in Davidson. The original objective was to equip low-income students at a local elementary school with digital technology to ensure that every student at the school would be able to access critical educational resources using necessary tools, such as laptop computers and digital broadband access within the safety of their homes. After eight months, 100% of Davidson Elementary School students had these tools. Three years later, E2D and its vast network of volunteers and benefactors have provided solutions for over 800 families at 18 different schools. E2D continues its work, now moving on to tackle the remainder of the Charlotte region.
Around 25 percent of US households or approximately 60 million Americans don’t have Internet access in their homes. Families affected by the digital divide, many of whom are from lower-income neighborhoods, are at a disadvantage when it comes to doing homework, applying for jobs, or staying in touch with loved ones. Whether cities are leading or partnering on programs, city governments have a major role to play in getting residents the digital access and resources they need.
“I think this award really goes far to acknowledge what an incredible town Davidson is,” says Pat Millen, E2D Founder/President. “Our recipe for success is in the plurality of partners that have joined in these solutions – from big companies like Lowe’s to kindergartners raising money with lemonade stands in front of their houses.”