Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced a series of key developments to the ‘Chicago Connected’ initiative!

When Mayor Lightfoot announced ‘Chicago Connected’ in June 2020, she pledged progress toward a broader digital equity strategy, including a commitment to digital inclusion, literacy, and learning. Mayor Lightfoot fulfilled that promise with the launch of the ‘Chicago Connected’ digital learning platform in a joint partnership with the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition (CCLC) and Northstar Digital Literacy.

“From the original launch of ‘Chicago Connected’ to the development of a digital literacy coalition, this project has involved and learned from trusted community-based organizations. The decisions that led to the announcement were made with input from Chicago digital inclusion practitioners,” said Angela Siefer, Executive Director at NDIA. “We at NDIA often point others to ‘Chicago Connected’ as a model to be replicated. The city-wide digital literacy platform, support and coalition are, again, replicable models.”

Enrollment in ‘Chicago Connected’ will now include free access to online portals with classroom curricula, training materials, and thousands of assessments, all available in self-guided and in-person formats, to build and test computer skills. In addition to these partnerships, a compilation of digital learning resources will be made available on the ‘Chicago Connected’ website, entirely free of charge. These resources can be found here.

Mayor Lightfoot announced the reopening of applications for community-based organizations (CBOs) interested in joining the ‘Chicago Connected’ coalition. Over the course of the last year, 35 CBOs throughout the city have been instrumental in supporting ‘Chicago Connected.’ The program’s success is largely attributable to the community outreach and neighborhood-level issue resolution provided by CBO partners.

Beginning July 1, 2021, applications will reopen for CBOs interested in joining the network. Applications will be made available here.