AFN Right Click News                                                                             October  2016
Empowerment Through Technology

Greetings from the Executive Director

October officially marks the beginning of our program year and we are already off to a great start. At the beginning of the month, we received exciting news. We were awarded a grant from the Seawell Elam Foundation to help secure an administrative position for our efforts to build capacity within the organization. It is critical that as we provide more needed digital literacy services to the community, we develop and implement sustainable systems for fund development.

Thanks to our partnership with the City of Austin's Digital Inclusion Initiative, IBM and Google Fiber we served 621 students last year. Our goal this program year is to serve 800 people! We need your continued support to make this happen. You can make an impact today by donating, volunteering or sharing information about the important work we are doing in the community to break down digital barriers.


Juanita Budd
Program News
Annual Meeting Kicks Off New Program Year

John Sirman, Beth Tracy, Elizabeth Quintanilla, Belinda Matingou, Barbara Kelso and Kevin Enders
AFN is proud to be led by a group of leaders who are committed to digital inclusion in the Austin Community. On October 13, the Executive Director, Board of Directors and Advisory Committee Member held the organization's Annual Meeting at IBM's Executive Briefing Center. The board members voted on a new slate of officers, reviewed the final budget and set the fundraising strategy for the new fiscal year which started October 1.
Operation Blue Santa Support

AFN is helping Santa again this year as a Community Center Administrator for the Austin Police Department's Blue Santa Program. Several parents visited our computer lab on Friday, October 21 to get help filling out the online application. 

We want to thank our volunteers from Google Fiber for helping clients register and for verifying applications. Our next registration event will be on Friday, October 28, 9 AM-12 PM at the DeWitty Center. Operation Blue Santa provides families in need a full holiday meal and wrapped Christmas gifts for each child under age 14.

Would you like to volunteer at a future AFN event? Contact our Volunteer Manager for details.
Welcome New AFN Staff Members Zan and Vanessa

We want to introduce you to two of our new team members Zan Sabatini and Vanessa Burnette. Zan, an AmeriCorps member, joined our training department in September. He will be teaching Adult Basic Education (ABE) and digital literacy at the Austin Research Center for the Homeless.  

For our clients at the DeWitty Center, Vanessa is a familiar friendly face. Vanessa volunteered with us last Spring in our Computer Learning lab. Vanessa started October 10, as our Central Coordinator. She will provide Administrative support for PearsonVUE testing and manage the main AFN office.  
Making the Connection through ESL

AFN offers Spanish speakers an opportunity to become tech savvy through our basic digital literacy classes. Our bilingual instructor recently taught a three week bilingual program at  Se Puede Learning Center in Austin. The students learned digital literacy skills on iPads provided by Austin Free-Net. All the students are enrolled in a ESL class with Austin Community College. They are practicing their English language skills through technology. At the end of the class, each of the students received an HEB gift card from a sponsor as a congratulations for learning a new lifetime skill.
Digital Inclusion News:

Why smartphones fall short in bridging digital divide
By: Wyatt Kash,

Pew Research Center studies point to rising reliance on smartphones t o access the internet, despite their
s hortcomings as online learning platforms.

Smartphones have become a portable bridge to the internet for millions of Americans who otherwise lack access to broadband service at home.

Read More.
AFN Out and About

Thank you Allergan Foundation! Austin Free-Net was awarded a grant to help teach seniors digital literacy skills at the annual Allergan Foundation luncheon at Baylor University on September 27, 2016. (l-r) Leslie Hay, AFN Communications Manager, Dermot Manton, VP/GM North American Operations at Allergan and Juanita Budd, Executive Director Austin Free-Net.
AFN Links
In This Issue
Student Success

Thanks to the guidance and training Mathew Breedlove received from our AFN Trainer at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH), he is now a downtown Austin Ambassador!  He started his digital literacy education by taking 11 basic computer classes at the ARCH. At the time, he mainly focused on learning how to use the Internet to sign up for local housing and benefits. In September, he indicated that he wanted help applying for jobs on Craigslist.

Upcoming Class
Intro to Coding 

Learn the basics of coding in this new AFN class.
Saturday, Nov. 12
Time: TBA
DeWitty Center

Register at

Early Voting

All registered Texas voters are eligible to vote early in person until November 4. Bring an accepted ID to a local polling station. For more information and voting locations in Travis County, visit the Travis County Clerk's website.
AFN Supporters
Thank you to our 2015-2016 Supporters & Partners

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