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Over half of low-income Canadians are not online because the cost of both internet access and the devices needed to get online are often out of reach. The affordability of a computer, cell phone, and monthly fees are major barriers for these Canadians. The unconnected population also struggles with varying degrees of digital literacy ranging from those who are unaware of the full range of uses for technology, to those who are aware, but who lack the skills to use it to safely and easily. Free Geek Toronto will offer a 4-hour workshop, called the Bridge Program, to increase the digital literacy of low-income and marginalized community members and offer them ongoing support from a volunteer mentor network. The curriculum will be tailored to the learning needs of participants and will include activities such as teaching them how to set-up email accounts, search websites of interest, use social media effectively, and protect their privacy online. Upon completion of the workshop, participants will receive a voucher for an affordably priced laptop refurbished by Free Geek Toronto, making this both a digital literary and green initiative that is helping to both connect more Canadians, and give technology headed for the landfill a second life.

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