Assessment of Blandin Community Broadband Program: Chisholm

Every year, the Blandin Foundation does an assessment of how the Blandin Broadband Communities projects. Here’s the update from 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/portal; 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. They continued work from the first round through support of a new Balkan Township website, and increased marketing for the Chisholm55719.com web portal. Additional projects include:
• The Chisholm Schools Wi-Fi hotspot project will allow the schools to acquire 100 mobile internet hotspots to address the needs of the 100 (out of 535) school-age who lack internet access at home. Students will be able to check out the hotspots for two-week intervals.
• Minnesota Discovery Center’s Distance Learning program will 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.
• Individualized 1:1 professional technology and digital marketing consulting for ten local
businesses and nonprofits.

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