Hi There!
I would like to invite you to apply for an incredible opportunity for your school's technology program.  Digital Wish is part of a team that has won a groundbreaking stimulus grant from the Federal government.  Our 4-school pilot computing initiative will become the seed for expansion to 24 Vermont towns.  Digital Wish's role is to work with leaders from participating schools to strengthen community and economic ties, by bringing 1:1 computing to selected classrooms throughout Vermont.


Digital Wish will bring 1:1 computing technology into the classroom and provide essential training so that students, teachers, and parents can use the internet more effectively.  With sets of computers that can travel from school to home, internet projects and community engagement will flourish.  When 21st century tools and teaching practices become an integral part of every day, at school and at home, student engagement, motivation, and participation rise across the curriculum.


In addition, by structuring the implementation of the program on the success of Digital Wish’s pilot schools, we will seek to further develop and refine a model that can be replicated by schools throughout the state.


Community, connection, and classroom learning are keys to a successful future, and modernization of schools and effective internet use will create a generation of students who will form the basis of a new knowledge economy. As broadband spreads in Vermont, this e-Vermont partnership will help communities identify new opportunities to use the technology to meet pressing local challenges.


We’re encouraging communities across Vermont to learn more and consider applying to be part of this e-Vermont initiative. This project is not adding fiber optic cable or making other infrastructure improvements. It is focused on helping local e-teams develop innovative uses for the internet through technical assistance, equipment and facilitation, and some funding. The first round deadline is April 30.


The e-Vermont project will learn from each of the selected towns and share these best practices in the uses of digital tools through symposia and conferences statewide.


We hope you will apply. The deadline is short and we'll be looking for schools with demonstrated leadership support for technology advancement, not only in school, but also across your local town.


I've pasted the press release below, and you can download the application here: http://www.vtrural.org/e-Vermont.php


All the best,

Heather Chirtea

Executive Director
Digital Wish
PO Box 1072, Manchester Center, VT 05255
P: 802-375-6721 x-202, F: 845-402-7242 C: 802-681-3529 (Only used on travel)
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DigitalWish


43 State Street • PO Box 1384 • Montpelier, VT  05601

802-223-6091 • [log in to unmask] • www.vtrural.org




e-Vermont Aims at Rural Towns

Deadline April 30

MONTPELIER, VTe-Vermont is a new $4 million initiative to help rural Vermont towns take full advantage of the Internet and advance a wide variety of local needs including economic development, school innovation, job creation, downtown marketing, community engagement, and e-commerce. Two dozen communities statewide will be selected to work with the new e-Vermont Partnership in a comprehensive effort combining online services, training, access, awareness, and planning.  However, applications are due by April 30 to be considered among the 12 communities for Round One.

By reaching the bedrocks of Vermont communities—schools, businesses, municipal government, libraries, health and social services groups—e-Vermont will promote new collaborative efforts for identifying and implementing previously untapped resources and help our towns fully realize the potential of the digital age.

The e-Vermont project will learn from each of the selected towns and share these best practices in the uses of digital tools through symposia and conferences statewide.

e-Vermont is supported by a $2.5 million stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Additional support comes from the Evslin Family Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation, the Jan and David Blittersdorf Foundation, UVM’s Center for Rural Studies, the Vermont Rural Partnership and by donated services and equipment from Dell, Microsoft, and Comcast.

Key to this major campaign is the new “e-Vermont Partnership” led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD). VCRD is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of the locally-defined progress of Vermont's rural communities.

In addition to VCRD, the e-Vermont Partnership is made up of the Vermont State Colleges, the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Department of Public Service, Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Snelling Center for Government, Front Porch Forum, Digital Wish, Evslin Family Foundation and Vermont Community Foundation.

Local committees in participating towns will work with VCRD staff and the e-partners to customize a two year plan from a menu of programs and services such as:

·        e-government - training and consultation on podcasting, on-line meetings, community scheduling, website development

·        Front Porch Forums that link neighbors to each other and to local services

·        Computer equipment and enhancement of e-services in libraries

·        Free Netbook computers for 4-5th graders and extensive teacher training to imbed technology in the curriculum

·        Specialized classes ranging from basic computer literacy to advanced applications to meet the range of community and business needs

·        e-commerce classes and one-to-one counseling for local businesses

·        Building community calendars, business directories, buy-local maps, arts and crafts tours, sports schedules, ride shares, and a variety of new locally-driven digital applications

·        Expanding on-line computer health information and opportunities

·        Expanding the use of web-based tools to facilitate community engagement and advance locally-designed initiatives

“The federal stimulus money provides a tremendous opportunity for Vermonters to ensure that our communities take full advantage of broadband technology, including advancing the bottom line of our businesses,” said VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello.  He emphasized that none of the 24 towns are selected yet, but community applications are due by April 30.

Vermont’s congressional delegates have been strong supporters of the e-Vermont concept.  Senator Leahy pointed out: "The impact of e-Vermont will yield both short-term and long-term community development benefits, creating new jobs, educating children and using technology to improve Vermonters' lives."

e-Vermont partners worked closely with Vermont’s stimulus office through the application process.  According to Governor Douglas, "This effort is a key part of the SmartVermont strategy. In order to reach our goals in e-Education, e-Health, e-government, and e-Energy, we need to remove all obstacles to Internet use for Vermonters. Even when the problem of access is solved, other challenges like lack of equipment and training remain.”

Municipal leaders and other local organizations that are interested in having their towns apply should contact Margaret Gibson McCoy at VCRD at 802-223-6091 or by email at [log in to unmask]  Details on the application process are posted at www.vtrural.org.