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Library Partnership With Comcast Enhances Digital Literacy for Youth

July 26, 2012

Motivating children to read while introducing new technologies to increase their digital literacy skills is the focus of a $25,000 grant from the Comcast Foundation to The Indianapolis Public Library that underscores the Library's mission to prepare youth for academic success.

The Comcast Foundation grant supports the Library's Summer Reading Program whose purpose is to maintain and advance children's reading skills throughout the summer. In connection with the reading program, the grant will be used to integrate digital activities with traditional library services in the Learning Curve at Central Library, a leading-edge technology environment for children, teens and families that earned the "Library of the Future" award from the American Library Association in 2009. Each year, over 30,000 children participate in digital activities offered by the Learning Curve and Learning Curve Mobile Lab, which consists of laptop computers loaded with multi-media software and digital microscopes.

The grant will provide high-definition USC webcams with microphones that allow children to create and post podcasts on what they learn during special Learning Curve programs; ultraHD 4GB flip cameras for children to capture video or still photos at special programs and develop stop animation on the Library's existing laptop computers loaded with Frames software; four iPad 2's; 20 sets of Lego Mindstorms Education NXT Base Sets to be used in digital learning workshops and 4,000 books as incentive for children who participate in the Summer Reading Program.  

"In today's digital knowledge-based economy, the programs provided by the Indianapolis Public Library will greatly help students and their families develop the skills they need to succeed," said Tim Collins, Senior Vice President for Comcast's Heartland Region. "Comcast is proud to help the Learning Curve program gain access to digital media equipment that will supplement this award winning program."

The ever-changing world of technology and electronic media has changed how children interact with information. As a result, the Library is committed to helping children organize and analyze vast amounts of information and make connections that result in new knowledge. To accomplish these goals, children need to be strong readers and writers and insightful thinkers.

"This support from Comcast will benefit young people in many ways," stated Steve Talley, Indianapolis District 11 City Councilor and supporter of Library initiatives that foster early literacy and technology skills among children. "It is a huge benefit to our community by ensuring that young people are prepared to succeed in an increasingly technological world." 

Digital literacy-building activities occur daily in the Learning Curve at Central Library and at various Indianapolis Public Library branches. For a schedule of upcoming free programs, call 275-4222 or visit