Blandin Foundation Grants Totaling $75,000 Given to Kooch County Groups in Past Year

Koochiching Technology Initiative (KTI) recently completed allocation of $75,000 in grants for local technology-related projects through the Blandin Broadband Community (BBC) program, funded by the Blandin Foundation. The group allocated almost $25,000 to 6 projects in May, 2019, and the remainder to 12 grantees in December.

“Since its inception, KTI has had two goals: getting broadband internet to all of Koochiching County and allocating the grant funding we received as a Blandin Broadband Community,” says Ted Saxton, KTI steering committee member. “While we have made great progress on the first goal, I am particularly proud of our accomplishments on the second. These projects are a testament of community members’ pride, creativity and dedication.”

Some of the recent grant recipients and projects include:

  • Koochiching County Veterans Service Office: State-of-the-art telehealth video conferencing system will allow area veterans to access medical and behavioral healthcare without traveling to a VA facility.
  • International Falls Public Library: Technology will expand the “libratory” STEM program to include coding and other technology experiences for students.
  • Koochiching Country Historical Society: Digital exhibits will allow visitors a more inactive experience while preserving the integrity of historical objects.
  • City of Littlefork: Wifi and teleconferencing equipment to support distance learning, training, remote government participation and civic engagement at the city’s community center.

“I am very impressed by the scope of KTI’s efforts and the care and thoughtfulness of the committee’s discussion and review,” says Bernadine Joselyn, Blandin Foundation BBC program liaison. “KTI continues to set the bar for an engaged and effective Blandin Community Broadband Team.”

KTI also funded equipment for public Wifi in Smokey Bear park, technology-based internships and more. For a full list of grantees and projects, visit Koochiching.tech.

About Koochiching Technology Initiative
Founded in 2018, KTI’s mission is to help our community adapt and thrive in the modern world, with a particular focus on internet access and skills throughout Koochiching County and Kabetogama.

About the Blandin Broadband Community program
The goal of the BBC is to set and meet information technology goals, bridge digital divides and position communities – and their residents – for greater success.  For more information, visit BlandinFoundation.org.

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