Friday, July 9, 2010

Spanish-language Basic Computer Skills classes at the Latin American Coalition & Cornelius Library

Since you’re visiting this blog, chances are you’ve probably got some pretty good computer skills – maybe you even take them for granted. But what if, due to language and other barriers, you’d never had the chance to develop those skills?

That’s where our Spanish-language basic computer skills classes come in to help. Funded through grants from Dollar General and the American Library Association, the program starts with the very basics – how to turn on the computer, how to use a mouse, etc. – and covers material all the way up to using a flash drive, e-mail attachments and the internet. Instructor Kristina Bergan instructs the classes, which are offered at two locations: the Latin American Coalition and the Cornelius Library.

Reyna (right) enrolled in the class at the Latin American Coalition because she wants to pursue the better job opportunities available to those who know how to use a computer.

Andres (left) has family in other countries. He already had an e-mail account, but wanted to learn more skills so that he’d be able to understand and use it better. After some basic typing exercises, he went on to learn how to send e-mails and even attach his own photos to share with his relatives.
At the Cornelius branch, a married couple, Cornelio and Elma (above), took the class together. Cornelio wanted to gain computer skills because he is asked to use one at work. Elma enrolled because she said teachers give homework and projects to their kids, expecting parents to be able to help their children look up information. She also wanted to learn how to access the website of the school her children attend.

Victoria (right) also thought it was very important to know how to use her kids' school websites, but mostly she wanted to build her computer skills in order to become more independent. She didn't like always having to rely on others to provide her with answers whenever she had a question - she wanted to be able to access the answers herself. "You can look for information about anything, using a computer. You don't have to ask anyone - it's all right there." (Translated from Spanish)


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