SNIPES, the leading sneaker and streetwear retailer, announced Crack the Code, a nationwide initiative that seeks to close the learning gap, promote digital equity, and build the next generation of STEM leaders. As part of the campaign, the brand will build state of the art computer labs in key retail markets throughout the United States. This new initiative will expand access to technology and digital literacy training for K-12 and adult learners in markets where SNIPES has a retail presence. So far, SNIPES has built 4 computer labs throughout Brooklyn.
According to Pew Research, about four-in-ten adults with lower incomes do not have home broadband services (43%) or a desktop or laptop computer (41%). Additionally, 59% of parents with lower incomes who had children in schools that were remote due to the pandemic said their children would likely face at least one of three digital obstacles to their schooling, such as a lack of reliable internet at home, no computer at home, or needing to use a smartphone to complete schoolwork. SNIPES’ Crack the Code campaign is shedding light on this digital divide and working to support communities that lack computer and web access, ensuring that they don’t fall further behind.
The “Crack the Code ” computer labs will be built in key retail markets throughout the United States. These advanced labs, which include laptop and desktop devices, iPads, printers and smartboards, will also act as community hubs, filling the connectivity void left open by the COVID-19 pandemic and providing access to residents who don’t have reliable at-home internet access or devices. These new labs will support adults, students and families furthest from educational justice in accessing the technology, technical support and additional learning resources required to continue to learn.
In addition to access to technology, these labs will also provide educational programming and digital literacy training. The expectation is that K-12 students, college students and adult learners will be able to easily access the basic computer courses and continuing education courses that will be held in the labs. SNIPES will continue to work with civic partners and community leaders to find solutions to enhancing the effort and identify additional opportunities for support, learning and educational growth within these communities.
“At SNIPES, we understand that today’s youth are tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, researchers and technology leaders,” said Jim Bojko, President of SNIPES’ US operations. “The services these new computer labs will offer to marginalized members of our communities will assist toward closing the technology gap. They will give residents access to skills and information that is vital in helping young people prepare for their careers.”
The first SNIPES Crack the Code computer lab, located in Brooklyn’s Wyckoff Gardens Housing, opened recently, with 3 others opening since. Since opening, it has attracted both youth and adults from the community, providing equitable access to technology and a safe haven for them to learn vital computer skills. These computer labs will serve as the blueprint for creating these inclusive, learning environments where students and adults can prepare for a tech-heavy future.