Tech-illiterate West Coasters in line to get online

West Coast literacy coordinator Sally Mole is hoping to help her community embrace the modern era of digital communication by linking tech-savvy youth with their tech-newbie elders.

Mole is launching a new youth mentorship program and recruiting local youth to guide techilliterate locals through everything from downloading apps to setting up social media profiles and email accounts.

“I think it’s great to involve youth with other generations,” Mole said adding the program will increase the confidence of youth who witness their knowledge helping others.

“I think it would be valuable and I would probably go myself because I’m not as tech savvy as some of t hese kids are.”

The idea for the course came to Mole during a recent visit from her father who had received a new IPad but was becoming frustrated by his inability to use the device to its full potential until Mole’s oldest son walked him through it.

Having seen her family’s online capacity boosted through this generational linkage, Mole set out to create more links between youth and tech-newbies to boost the online capacity of her community.

She said an initial call-out for interested youth yielded five willing tutors but plans to launch the course are on hold until the West Coast’s summer schedule begins to wane.

The program will be free to participants and Mole hopes the relationships that are created will be tapped into repeatedly in the everchanging world of technology. “My idea is that the kids would establish a relationship with the people that need help and they could be independently following up with those people,” she said. “I’m hoping it will become a selfsustaining kind of thing.”

Mole, who is a District of Ucluelet councillor, has a Facebook page specifically set up to dish out municipal happenings to her constituents. She said she believes understanding new technologies is becoming essential.

“Technology is growing and it’s become part of lives now and I would hate to think of anyone being disenfranchised or disengaged because they don’t have that knowledge,” she said.

Anyone interested in being a tutor or a participant in the program can contact Mole at sallymole@live.ca.

The program will be funded through the West Coast Dual Literacy Program of the Coastal Family Resource Coalition.

reporter@westerlynews.ca