Recipe for new leaders

Rochester designed the NeighborLink Network not only to foster community

involvement, but also to address the digital divide between citizens who

have computer access and those who do not.

"It's not enough to say it's out there, go get it," said Council.man

Wade Norwood. "It's not merely information for information's sake. It's

information for the sake of being a citizen."

City officials have provided instructional guides with each computer

workstation they've installed in public libraries, and library staff are

available to help residents use the computers. The city also offers computer

training workshops on such topics as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 and the

Internet. The volunteer-led courses are free for children and adults and

are offered throughout the year.

The city will also institute a program next year to teach people the

principles of leadership such as managing proj.ects, working with different

groups, creating marketing and communication strategies, solving problems

and developing mediation skills. Vickie Bell, director of the Bureau of

Neighborhood Initiatives, said the program would also teach people how to

use technology as a civic tool.

The goal is to create a pool of new neighborhood leaders.

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