Here at Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.
Technological literacy is an extremely important quality for the 21st century student. Research is increasingly conducted through the internet, and it is rare to find a field that does not take advantage of the data-sorting power of computers. Estella Pyfrom recognized this trend as a guidance counselor in Palm Beach County, Florida. She also recognized that a number of poorer students were being excluded from this information revolution due to a lack of access to a personal computer. Her solution was Estella's Brilliant Bus, an innovative non-profit that literally brings technology to students.
Pyfrom purchased a bus with her savings and equipped it with 17 computer stations. Each computer is equipped with high-speed internet access and a number of interactive tutorials that align with the state's academic curriculum. Students are encouraged to make an account that allows them to track their progress working through a series of tutorials. Classes range from computer and internet basics to math, science, and reading lessons. Once students have demonstrated 90% proficiency in a subject, they are encouraged to begin the next tutorial. The system is designed to support young students as they interact with detailed subject matter. Older students and adults can access college preparatory work, GED training, or leadership classes. Estella's Brilliant Bus offers tools that fit a diverse range of needs.
Estella's Brilliant Bus helps adults with technology as well. Courses are offered in online banking, job searching, and resume assistance. The community-centered organization helps adults learn about these tools in a comfortable environment. It has also recently begun to expand its efforts in partnering with other groups to provide free meals to people in the neighborhood; and it continues to expand its presence in the Florida area.
Estella's Brilliant Bus is an example of an innovative solution to an important problem. It has facilitated learning by providing individuals with access to computers and tutorials. Expanding access to technology and supplementing traditional forms of education are important endeavors in the modern world. Estella's Brilliant Bus is a laudable example of a grassroots solution.
To donate to Estella's Brilliant Bus and to learn more, visit http://estellasbrilliantbus.org/
To read her feature article as a CNN Hero, visit http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/04/us/cnnheroes-pyfrom-brilliant-bus/index.html