Northwest Communities' Education Center/KDNA

Organization Name
Northwest Communities' Education Center/KDNA
Mission Statement

Northwest Communities’ Education Center/KDNA is a community based organization that addresses the social, educational, and health needs of economically disadvantaged and Spanish speaking residents of Central and Eastern Washington. NCEC/KDNA empowers communities to succeed and participate more fully in our global and multicultural society through innovative programs and community partnerships.

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: Northwest Communities’ Education Center (NCEC) went on the air with its Spanish, educational KDNA radio station, December 19, 1979. The station’s equipment was basic analog; all files and reports were done on paper forms by NCEC staff using Royal typewriters; LPs and 45s were played on turntables; hundreds of records were filed on rickety wooden shelves; KDNA’s information came from encyclopedias, newspapers and magazines. For a radio station to educate, inform, motivate, mobilize a community of Spanish speaking—men, women and children with radio outreach programs and activities required a full time staff, overworked and under-paid. Complying with FCC and CPB requirements required much time and money. To top it all, the facility was old, not energy efficient.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)
Other: Windows 7

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: New technologies streamlined radio outreach and social services. Brochures on health using publisher (i.e. tobacco use, diabetes) are produced in-house and distributed at our center and community activities. The use of Power Point enhanced radio volunteer trainings. Music inventory is available through windows media player. Communicating with service agencies, that serve the poor is fast and efficient (Dell computers with Windows XP and Microsoft Office on desks of all staff). Communicating with donors (radio-grams, and social justice alerts) is fast, clean, and reliable using Publisher. Farmworkers and immigrants learn computer skills in our Tech Center; to bridge digital divide with their children and small entrepreneurs use the Center to learn Excel for financial records.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: Due to the use of new technologies, community social and educational services have empowered an impoverished farmworker and immigrant community to advance their American dream. Using Microsoft Windows assists us in responding to foundation and other funding RFPs efficiently, and in preparation of reports. Word is used in developing scripts for educational radio dramas, underwriting acknowledgements, and production of cultural music programs. The membership database is on Access and helps to maintain accurate member records. Production of local, state, regional and national news reports are more accurate, timely and improved in quality by using Microsoft Windows and Word. Thus leveraging much needed underwriting revenues

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: A partnership with Washington State University and MESA TechREACH, encouraged 60 middle school students to look into careers in science by exploring computer programs in robotics and animation at our Technology Center (walking distance from school). This proximity made it easy for parents to attend a demonstration by their children using the newly learned technology. NCEC/KDNA in a partnership with University of Washington, and a local clinic, is conducting an asthma research project with a cohort of 57 low income children. Rural areas in the Yakima Valley have a high rate of children with asthma. Locating the environmental triggers that cause attacks will result in benefits for sufferers and save trips to the hospital. Microsoft Access is utilized for data collection in this study.

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Northwest Communities' Education Center/KDNA