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May 13, 2005
City of Toronto wins CAMA Award for Innovation
The City of Toronto’s kids@computers Scholarship Project has received national
recognition with the 2005 Award for Innovation from the Canadian Association of
Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The project was selected out of entries from
across Canada. The project was also recognized at the 2004 Public Sector
Quality Fair.

With the support of Toronto City Council, Toronto Social Services launched
kids@computers in 2001 to bridge the digital divide – a term that commonly
refers to the growing gap that exists between the educational achievements and
employment prospects of children whose families own a home computer and
children whose families do not. The project’s goal is to provide children of
disadvantaged families in Toronto with the same access to computers and the
Internet as their peers so they can acquire the skills and confidence they need
to excel in today’s world.

“kids@computers is an excellent example of the real difference the City of
Toronto can make in improving the lives of disadvantaged residents,” said Mayor
David Miller. “Since 2001, over 10,000 children in 6,500 families have been
provided with a new, up-to-date home computer and printer complete with free
Internet, software and basic computer training.”

As one child who received a scholarship said: “Besides the enormous help for my
homework and projects, I can now proudly participate in any discussion on
computers with my friends as well as daily discovering of its capabilities.”

Built upon an innovative partnership structure, kids@computers brings together
resources and expertise from across the City of Toronto – including Toronto
Social Services, Toronto Public Library, Toronto Parks, Forestry and
Recreation, Toronto Community Housing and Toronto Fire Services. The project
also benefits from the contributions of community and private sector partners
such as the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club and Microsoft Canada.

kids@computers was made possible through one-time provincial incentive funding
realized as a result of the efforts of Toronto Social Services clients and
staff. To build on the project’s success, Toronto Social Services is seeking
new private sector partners to ensure kids@computers continues for many years
to come.

“I wish to congratulate Toronto Social Services and its partners, along with
all of the staff who contributed submissions to the CAMA Awards Program,” said
City Manager Shirley Hoy. “These programs demonstrate a commitment to
excellence by the Toronto Public Service and the leadership role it plays in
the fields of ingenuity and innovation, environmental stewardship, and
education and research.”

The following programs were also submitted for consideration:
• City of Toronto Accessibility Design Guidelines
• Green Bin Organic Collection Program
• Green Fleet Transition Plan
• Our Common Grounds – Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation

Media contacts:

Anne McLaughlin
Corporate Communications

Heather MacVicar
General Manager
Toronto Social Services



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