LANSING — Lansing’s Information Technology Empowerment Center Thursday announced a new program of two-hour adult computer literacy classes — and a $45,000 grant to help turn on Lansing-area youth to science and math careers.

The adult classes are called ITEC Upgrades, and are intended to help update the Lansing community on digital trends and increase computer skills.

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“The computer opens up a world of opportunities and we want to make sure Lansing residents are not left in the dark,” said Sarah Szwejda, ITEC’s Manager of Adult Education. “ITEC Upgrades provide exposure to technology and applications that can offer new skills and enhance everyday life.”

ITEC Upgrades include four new classes to enhance computer skills and increase efficiency in work and play, and are offered multiple times each month for convenience.

Courses offered in July and August include:
* LinkedIn 101 helps students set up profiles and learn how to grow their online professional network. Current classes are scheduled for July 20 and Aug. 25 and 30.
* Learning the Keys and Navigating the Mouse allows students to learn how to type more efficiently and control the computer more effectively by increasing mouse-use skills. Current classes are scheduled for Aug. 18 and 22.
* Introduction to the Internet teaches students how to explore safely, and discover much of what the World Wide Web has to offer. Current classes are scheduled for July 12 and Aug. 11 and 23.
* Saving Your Memories in a Digital World is perfect for shutterbugs in the Lansing area, providing instruction on how to upload, save, manage and share photos from different electronic devices. Current classes are scheduled for Aug. 4 and 21.
* Making the Most of Your Gmail Account helps current Gmail users to explore the unique features of the popular e-mail client and increase their future productivity. Current classes are scheduled for July 21 and Aug. 18 and 29.

For more information regarding the latest ITEC Upgrades classes please contact Szwejda or visit

The children’s classes, meanwhile, are funded by a $45,000 grant from the Dart Foundation. The grant will be used to grow the ITEC Pathways: Building Tomorrow’s Scientists and Engineers project. The project will serve Lansing’s budding scientists through afterschool programs and summer camps that provide them hands-on education in science, technology, math and engineering. The grant runs from now through summer 2014.

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The ITEC Pathways project aims to serve 1,350 students at an average of 20 hours of instruction per student through its afterschool classes and summer camps, working to increase positive attitudes and perceptions toward science and math. The program also builds demonstrable IT and STEM skills and 21st century learning skills like creative problem solving, teamwork, communication, creativity and experimentation.

“We are proud and thrilled to receive ongoing support from the Dart Foundation,” said ITEC’s Executive Director, Kirk Riley, “This grant allows ITEC to help inspire the budding engineers, programmers and scientists of tomorrow in the Lansing community.”

The William A. and Claire T. Dart Foundation aims to support youth education programs particularly those focused in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With its headquarters being located in Mason since 1984, the foundation focuses on providing philanthropy to the mid-Michigan area especially in the Capital Region.

The Information Technology Empowerment Center (ITEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works with students and families in the Greater Lansing area to build excitement for coursework and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

A collaborative partnership between community, business, education, and government, ITEC is making an impact in Lansing by developing the region’s talent.

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