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Muncie, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: Sustainable Muncie Corporation installed internet access points at Madjax, the organization's warehouse, which is home to collaborative workspaces, a design and tinkering lab and a makerspace. Previously, public internet access in Muncie was limited to local libraries and coffeeshops. Now residents of the East Central neighborhood can either sit inside Madjax or access Wi-Fi from outside the facility. Project organizers hope their new outdoor internet access points help bridge the digital divide in the community. In addition, the organization is establishing an ambassador program to provide older adults with peer-to-peer technology support. They say the new internet connection has also helped Sustainable Muncie's Retirees Entrepreneurial Club get off the ground.

Kaunakaukai, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: This project set up a free, outdoor Wi-Fi hotspot and provided assistance to those trying to connect to the internet. It also offered digital literacy instructions and installed ADA-compliant outdoor furniture.

Buckhannon, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: Staff at the Upshur County Public Library hoped to turn an unsafe and unsightly building on the library's campus into a more useful space. To give visitors a space to access free Wi-Fi -- as well as relax, socialize and read -- the library worked to replace the building with an outdoor living room. After tearing down the structure, leveling out the site and seeding new grass, the library outfitted the space with ADA-compliant picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and planter boxes. They also installed outdoor charging stations to help residents access the internet, even while the library is closed. Volunteers with the West Virginia Master Gardeners planted native flowers onsite, and now use the greenspace to host gardening trainings. Organizers say the parklet is an important amenity for residents who lack access to greenspace.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Trails

Description: This project installed informational kiosks promoting Cobb Creek Trail. Volunteers installed the kiosks along the trail. Additionally, the Clean Air Council stated two entertainment programs at the Environment Center geared toward older adults.

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Entrepreneurship and improved economic resilience

Description: This project allowed Mt. Airy Community Development Corporation to intentionally recruit local older adults to take part in its PhillyiHub entrepreneurship program. Project organizers recruited a cohort of older adult entrepreneurs and held a series of virtual workshops to help them develop their businesses. Workshop topics include financing, business operations, marketing and branding. The six-week program provides one-on-one assistance with business growth planning and gives business owners a chance to network with each other. Project organizers say the older adults were engaged and open participants.

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