Residents in low-income neighborhoods face an interrelated set of factors that constitute a “wall of poverty” and a major barrier to broadband adoption. These challenges often inhibit students from being able to concentrate on learning. Schools alone cannot address all of these factors and need support from Local Governments that have responsibilities for human services. That is why CETF launched Neighborhood Transformation Initiatives in pacesetter communities to align county, city, and school resources to support community leaders and to achieve better outcomes for students and their families, and join forces to tackle poverty.
The “wall of poverty” can be tackled and shattered by counties and cities aligning their existing resources and delivering human services through multi-disciplined Integrated Services Teams organized around school attendance areas. The Integrated Services Teams must focus on and be accountable for moving families and their children out of poverty and into self-sufficiency—with measurable outcomes for a better future. Obviously, getting a good education, including the ability to use technology and acquire digital skills, is fundamental to escaping poverty and becoming self-sufficient. Thus, School2Home also is the “centerpiece” of a strategy referred to as Neighborhood Transformation, which fully embraces and incorporates Digital Inclusion. CETF is pursuing Neighborhood Transformation to complement and augment School2Home with a group of visionary local elected officials and pacesetter counties and cities. Neighborhood Transformation is a major priority initiative categorized as a “Strategic Partnership” as part of the 5 Overarching Strategies.