Jacksonville Public Education Fund and Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida receive funding from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation to support adult digital literacy classes




Amy Henderson 

(404) 387-0624                       


AT&T and the AT&T Foundation recently awarded Jacksonville Public Education Fund and Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida $25,000to support parents in increasing their digital literacy skills so they can access the resources needed to better engage in their child’s learning.  

JPEF will collaborate with the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida to provide digital literacy classes to parentsin Duval Countywith the goal toincrease their skillsin digital literacy not limited to thebasics of using a computer,navigating the internet, email, basic productivity software,and smartphone apps.These skills are important toparentsknowing how to accessavailable resources intheirnative languageto help them becomeengagedintheir child’s learning.   

“We are grateful for AT&T and the AT&T Foundation’s support to provide digital literacy classes to parents in our community,” said JPEF President Rachel Tutwiler Fortune. “Literacy is essential for success in every aspect of life. Providing parentsthe resources to become engaged in their child’s learning is critically important to closing the opportunity gap in Duval County and we are thrilled to partner with Literacy Alliance and AT&T on this effort.”  

JPEFhas prioritized addressing the opportunity gap around literacy in Duval County in our research and practicethrough the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, READJAX. READ JAX is a community-wide effort to increase literacy in Duval County being led by JPEF and the Kids Hope Alliance (KHA)JPEF conducted a perceptions survey of under the age of 12to understand their beliefs about literacy and reading, behaviors around reading, and their accesstocommunity-based reading resources like the public library.  

When asked about the ease of accessing reading and literacy resources, only slightly more than half of parents (55%) reported finding it very easy.Parentswho identified asLatinoor multi-racial were the most likely to report difficulty in accessing reading and literacy resources and agree that accessing resources in their native language is difficult.   

This data suggests that while parents understand and believe reading is important, there are barrierstoaccessingresources. Thisiscompounded by a lack of technological and digital literacy. Given the local population context, there is a specific need to ensure parents who speak a language other than English at home feel they have the knowledge and skills required to engage in their child’s learning, particularlyinthe era of remote andhybridlearning.   

The Literacy Alliance of Northeast Floridaserves any adult in Northeast Florida over the age of 16 who wants to improve their literacy skills.Theirstudents usually have a goal in mind when they enroll. Often, they want toimprove their skills to find a jobor gain a career license.They alsohave more personal goals such as reading the newspaperor reading with their children and grandchildren.   

"Literacy empowers adults to make decisions, and the use of technology is an integral part of literacy. For parents, understanding technology can make all the difference in successfully supporting the education of their children, said Marcus Haile, CEO of the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida. “This joint effort between the Literacy Alliance,  AT&T and JPEF will remove digital literacy as a barrier for parents' involvement in their children's education as well as their own continuing education goals."    

“At AT&T, we want to do more than provide affordable internet services to address the digital divide,” said Kevin Craig, regional director, AT&T Florida. “Supporting digital literacy programs in the community is equally important. Our role in the age of connectivity is to create opportunities for the community at large to thrive in the digital age.” 

The Digital Literacy Classes are scheduled to begin in June 2023. Classes will take place at the Jessie Ball duPont Center on a weekly basis. There is no cost to enroll or participate in the classes. Each participant will receive a certificate of skills obtained upon completing the class, likely in December 2023.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.