Louisville immigrants and refugees learn to use computers for th - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville immigrants and refugees learn to use computers for the first time in new literacy program

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A new literacy program in Louisville is helping refugees and immigrants learn how to use a computer.

An $18,000 grant from Give502, the only Young Professionals giving circle in Louisville, is providing computers and classes to 75 local refugees and immigrants.

The free classes are held every Monday and Wednesday at the Americana World Community Center.

“I need a better job and to help my family,” said Bernadette Jeudy, who moved to Louisville from Haiti with her family five years ago.

A dozen countries are represented in the classes, which can make question-and-answer sessions tough because of the language barrier.

“Many of them, when they came in, didn’t even know how to turn on a computer," said Programs Director Kristin Burgoyne. "So we spend a couple weeks on just basic computer hardware."

On Wednesday night, many of the students practiced typing their names and learning how to use passwords, email and create resumes. 

Keyboards are available for students to take home and become more familiar with key and finger placement.

Classes hit capacity faster than Give502 or Community Center teachers expected, which they say proves its importance.

“They want to learn, and we want to be helpful and here to teach," said Carrie Syberg, Give502 spokesperson. "So we are just happy to be here and happy to help fund a really great program."

Those computer classes will now be Mondays and Wednesdays and will go through May at the Americana World Community Center. The center hopes to offer another sign-up and classes this summer.

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