Closing the digital gap


Fernanda Camacho Hauser, Correspondent

STATESBORO Georgia Southern’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology has been working with Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center (WHHRC) to put IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) CAREs Act funds to expand the current resources at the center to aid the community in expanding digital resources.

These expansions would help close the digital gap which propels our world forward but leaves others behind when it comes to education, banking, or information due to lack of access to technological resources that can be taken for granted. These expansions would continue Willow Hill’s legacy of being both a community and educational center of Portal, Georgia.

Program is currently actively working on setting up the infrastructure required to go through the expansion when it comes to funding, resourcing, and staffing.

The plan as of now is to get working on the applications of the funds and plans by early January 2021. This plan would allow community members to attend online classes from a CDC approved set up, have guaranteed internet access, and get assistance with homework and technology from volunteer and hired staff members.

The end goal is to expand the WHHRC’s media center area, create a computer lending program, expand the wifi reach, create an outdoor facility with fans and tables where community members can work, and have paid and volunteer staff members from the community and GS.

While this project has the Georgia Southern Department of Sociology and Anthropology as a partner they will be taking volunteers from the Service Learning office for anyone who would be interested in assisting in this program.