The National Urban Technology Center, Inc. (Urban Tech) Raises the Bar on Home Schooling

Online education is not an option today, it is here to stay, as positive testing COVID-19 cases are rising among all students from kindergarten to college. The National Urban Technology Center, Inc. (Urban Tech)has the solution and is launching a pilot program to train parents to become equal partners with teachers in delivering remote services to the home. This exciting program will extend the “classroom” to the home for any time, anyplace access to academic resources, and social and emotional well-being of families at the beginning of this unprecedented period in American history.

Now more than ever, communities of color need Urban Tech.  America is abandoning Black and Brown communities, continuing to leave the have and have nots divided by the access to technology, coupled with many other economic challenges.  They lack the necessary digital resources to continue their children’s education at home during the pandemic.  It is critical for Urban Tech to upgrade their homes with technology and digital services and prepare families to not only survive this unprecedented time in American history but to prosper in the digital opportunities that will follow.

Urban Tech’s Dignity for All program strengthens the ties between home and school and unlocks the potential of parents to improve their own Social and Emotional Well-Being and job skills as well as their children’s skills by being trained and certified as paraprofessionals to join schools in delivering remote online services in their homes.

One hundred parents will be invited to join the first phase of the Dignity for All program (DFA) funded by private and corporate donors to form effective alliances between parents and teachers in delivering remote services to the home. Teachers and parents from participating schools will be invited to complete the DFA Parents Care curriculum during the academic year to help families and school staff better respond to the stressors that have emerged as a result of Covid-19, and students will be trained to access the technical supports and remote services they need to successfully achieve their academic goals for the year.

In the last six months, the pandemic has shone a light on the lack of digital inclusion and inability of families to receive remote educational services in their homes making it impossible for their children to achieve their academic goals for the year.  It is a flagrant denial of their civil rights and ensures a continuation of inadequate education, joblessness, and poverty as families struggle to survive in today’s economy. It is time to close the learning gap for these marginalized and low-income families whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic from those who live in urban communities to those in rural communities, low-income families, immigrants, and families of color who today cannot access online education and who will continue to struggle to gain the skills necessary to survive in today’s competitive economy. Online education is not an option today, it is a requirement for becoming a fully qualified participant in today’s economic system and job market.

Over the last 25 years as an educational not for profit corporation, Urban Tech has helped communities to fully participate in the information age by applying ”A Whole Village” approach to education. Through Dignity for All, Urban Tech invests in parents as equal partners in the education of their children and support teachers with interactive classroom activities adapted to individual students, small groups, and whole-class modules.

Working together with funding partners, Urban Tech addresses racial inequality and the lack of access caused by the pandemic by building a bold new “smart” learning platform for social and emotional learning and world-class education available anytime and anyplace, and trains parents to assist in providing education to the entire family.

If we are successful, Dignity for All would not only lift students out of the educational crisis caused by the pandemic but pay parents to become equal partners in educating their children,  lifting all boats in the community.

About Patricia Bransford:

Patricia Bransford is the Founder and President of the National Urban Technology Center (Urban Tech) a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational company founded in 1995 to provide equal access to technology in vulnerable communities and open the door to critical educational resources for competitive skills and economic gain. In 2017, Bransford and her team led a movement called Dignity for All (DFA) to provide solutions in social and emotional learning to end bullying and discrimination in schools and build caring communities for social justice and racial equality. Given the issues of the pandemic, Urban Tech’s Parents Care Program engages parents as equal partners in delivering remote services and with the help of its corporate and community partners trains and certifies parents as paraprofessionals to work with the classroom teacher to ensure that disadvantaged families are not left behind.

Ms. Bransford founded Urban Tech in 1995 and in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, established computer centers for low-income residents in 750 locations across the country serving nearly 2,000,000 youth and adults in developing computer literacy for youth development and job training. Ms. Bransford’s career includes 25 years at IBM in executive-level positions leading innovations in technology-based solutions for government and education agencies. She directed IBM’s multi-million business with New York City including strategic planning, marketing and implementation of large-scale information systems projects in the areas of education, social services, criminal justice, housing, and finance.

Ms. Bransford career is distinguished by numerous honors and awards, including The Network Journal 2008 “25 Influential Black Women in Business,” the 2007 Freedom Hero Award, The Catholic University of America 2007 Trailblazer Award, the Dr. Gardner C. Taylor Humanitarian Award, the National Association of Black Telecommunications 2001 Granville T. Woods Award and the Los Angeles Urban League Technology Award.

Ms. Bransford has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and a Master’s Degree from New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business. For additional information, visit our website:

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