The Blandin Foundation recently published an inclusive assessment of the last cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities. Including a segment on Chisholm…
During its first round as a BBC, the Chisholm team supported projects to fund Wi-Fi on two school buses; develop a community website/portal9; create Wi-Fi hotspots at the Chisholm Public Library, Balkan Community Center, and the Lake Street Pocket Park; make ten mobile hot spots available for check-out at the public library; offer computer training programs, and provide device training to older adults. The team also helped the Minnesota Discovery Center upgrade the facility’s internet connection and improve Wi-Fi throughout the building and grounds. The team continues to explore the idea of opening a coworking/business center in town.
The BBC team in Chisholm underwent a leadership change between the first and second rounds of BBC grant funding. ReGen, a nonprofit organization of young Iron Rangers, took over project leadership from Chisholm EDA. Planning continues, but at the time of this writing the following two projects were under implementation:
The first project will allow the schools to acquire 100 mobile internet hotspots to address the needs of the 100 (out of 535) school-age children in the Chisholm Public Schools who lack internet access at home. Students will be able to check out the hotspots for two-week intervals.
The second project seeks to enhance programming at Minnesota Discovery Center by helping fund the purchase of distance learning equipment and curriculum development staff can use to conduct online educational field trips. This will expand the outreach capacity of the center and increase the visibility of the region.