Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Literacy Project to offer help with computer use

Judith Roberts, the project’s executive director, said it is vital to help adult literacy students get online. Most do not have Internet access at home.

“We would be doing them a disservice to graduate them without the computer skills they’ll need in college and the workplace,” she said.

The free classes begin in September. They will be designed to meet the needs and interests of the individual students. It will likely include advice on how to create an email account, back-up files or create a Powerpoint presentation.

“Many of our students enter our classes with very limited knowledge of word processing and Internet basics. They know that computer skills are essential, and they want to learn,” Sheila Murphy, the project’s site director for Amherst and Northampton, said in a statement.

The $3,500 grant was made by the charitable foundation of Newspapers of New England, parent company of the Gazette. Publisher Jim Foudy said the grant supports the mission of the Literacy Project, including the emphasis on computer instruction.

Additional funds will support the purchase, installation and maintenance of computers and network technology for student use.

Since 1984, the Literacy Project has offered free adult literacy, GED prep and college readiness classes in Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, Orange and Ware. More than 400 students study with the project each year.

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