Project Next Generation
Project Next Generation (PNG), an educational technology initiative of Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, was established to help educate at-risk students and bridge the digital divide. By providing technology training for students, with limited access to computers, PNG empowers students to succeed academically and eventually as independent, contributing members of society.
In service of this mission, the PNG program offers grant funding to libraries for establishing after-school training programs that not only provide access to computers, software and various technology devices, but also hire mentors who are crucial to helping students develop self-confidence and pride in their newly acquired skills.
The value of this training is evidenced through increased confidence of students as they achieve success through project based learning; reinforced abilities and learning as libraries offer technology based experiences for participating students who might not otherwise have access; the enhanced ability of students to deal with life experiences and the future; and ultimately, the coupling of technology education with safe and friendly environments that foster communication with positive role models.