Since late summer/early fall 2022, thirty projects funded by the Senior Trust Digital Literacy Grant have been underway across Tennessee.  We are excited to report that the projects have wrapped up and we are incredibly grateful for all of the work that has been done to increase the digital literacy of older adults throughout the state.  A comprehensive impact report is forthcoming, but we are excited to share a few highlights from the report.

The Senior Trust Digital Literacy Grant Funded Agencies:

Served over 6,429 individuals directly
Taught a total of 1,818 training classes
Provided 1,299 rides to access programming
Offered internet subsidies to over 504 individuals
Distributed 4,173 devices to participants (including computers, tablets, and hotspots)
Engaged 373 trainers in program instruction
Offered over 4,151 hours of tech support

Overall, individuals reported positive feedback from their experiences in digital literacy programming.  The majority of participants reported an increase in knowledge and confidence when using technology and intended to use the internet daily to access health services, communicate with friends and family, and stay up to date on news and current affairs.  Along with increased digital skills, many older adults also reported increased social connections both with fellow participants and within the larger community.

In addition to the individuals served directly, thousands more were touched indirectly through the “Exposing Cyber Threats” documentary produced by Nashville Public Television as part of their “Aging Matters” series. The purpose of the documentary is to provide critical information about internet access and safety.  The documentary is free to view and is available HERE.

Significant progress has been made through the Senior Trust Digital Literacy Grant projects, but there is still more work to be done to increase digital readiness and access to technology for older adults in Tennessee.  In April 2024, the state of Tennessee made over $163 million dollars available in broadband and digital opportunity grants. The grants awarded will impact an anticipated 236,000 Tennesseans across 92 counties. We are excited to report that many of the organizations funded through the Senior Trust Digital Literacy Grant also received grant funding from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development through the Digital Skills, Education and Workforce Development (DSEW) Grant to continue and/or scale their digital literacy programming.  We are thrilled that this work will continue throughout the state.  Learn more about all of the grants awarded and see the full list of funded agencies HERE.