Rural Internet Access Authority

Digital/Internet Literacy Training

Request for Grant Proposals


May 17, 2002

Table of Contents

Program Statement *

Purpose of Grants *

e-NC Definition of Digital/Internet Literacy Training *

Grant Amounts *

Eligible Grant Applicants *

Eligible Grant Activities *

Eligible Grant Expenditures *

Digital/Internet Literacy Training Target Groups *

Grant Application Content *

Application Notification Requirements *

Grants Awards/Contracts Schedule *

Grants Implementation Schedule *

Eligible Counties *

Application Selection Process *

Corrections to Deficient Applications *

Scoring Sheet for RIAA Digital/Internet Literacy Training Grant *

Proposals *

Ranking *

Award Requirements *

For Further Information *

Requirements and Instructions *

Grant Application Rural Internet Access Authority *

Digital/Internet Literacy Training Project *

Certification by Applicant *


Rural Internet Access Authority

Digital/Internet Literacy Training

Request for Grant Proposals

Program Statement


The North Carolina General Assembly in its 2000 session approved the creation of the Rural Internet Access Authority (RIAA) to oversee efforts to provide rural areas with high-speed broadband Internet access.

The authority is governed by a 21-member commission, which includes members of state government, business and education leaders, members of the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) and representatives from the state's telecommunications companies, including Internet service providers, rural telephone cooperatives, local telephone exchange and independent telephone companies.

The authority's main goals are ambitious: to provide local dial-up Internet access from every telephone exchange in North Carolina within one year; and to provide high-speed Internet access at competitive prices (at least 128K for residential customers and at least 256K for business customers) to all North Carolinians within three years.

Other goals of the Rural Internet Access Authority include:


One of the requirements of Senate Bill 1343 is to provide Accurate, current, and complete information provided through the Internet to citizens about the availability of present telecommunications and Internet services with periodic updates on the future deployment of new telecommunications and Internet services.

NC Senate Bill 1343 also states that closing the digital divide for the citizens of North Carolina is the intent of the Rural Internet Access Authority. If this intent is to be accomplished, the digital/Internet literacy of North Carolinians must improve dramatically.

A variety of digital/Internet literacy training classes and programs can be found throughout North Carolina. Community colleges, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, churches, public libraries, and for-profit vendors operate training programs.

Although some good things, including innovative approaches with records of success, are happening in the development and delivery of digital/Internet literacy training, many communities and individuals experience significant difficulty in accessing needed training. The current piecemeal approach is not adequate to meet the needs of North Carolinians, especially those in rural communities. The following problems are among the most significant:


Programs that offer digital/Internet literacy training can be found in many locations, from Community Colleges to Parks and Recreation Centers, 4H Youth Clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Senior Centers, and Libraries and schools to name a few. Many centers are located in stand-alone facilities and are not affiliated with another institution. They take on many shapes and sizes.



Purpose of Grants

The Digital/Internet Literacy Training Grants Program is intended to provide free or low cost digital/Internet literacy training opportunities to people in North Carolina’s 85 rural counties.

Funds from this grants program are to be used to support programs and classes that provide basic digital/Internet literacy skills and knowledge. In addition, specialized digital/Internet literacy programs and classes that meet a specific and documented community need and digital/Internet literacy training that is embedded in project-based learning efforts are also eligible for the use of these funds.

e-NC Definition of Digital/Internet Literacy Training

The term "Digital/Internet Literacy Training," is used by the NC Rural Internet Access Authority to refer to training courses or programs that are available to the general public, free or at low cost, through educational institutions, public sector agencies, libraries, and non-profit organizations.

The following are essential components of Digital/Internet Literacy Training as defined by the RIAA:

Level I

Level II

Level III

****All training funded by e-NC Digital/Internet Literacy Training Grant dollars must address the three training levels described above, as a minimum standard. Grant recipients are encouraged to provide enhanced training as appropriate.

The value of project-based and contextual learning is well documented. Grant recipients may choose to embed these required components and skill levels within a project-based or contextual learning approach.

Grant Amounts

$670,000 is available for Digital Literacy Training Grants. Grant recipients may receive up to $20,000. No county shall receive more than one grant.

Applicants are encouraged to consider submitting multi-county applications. In such cases, the total award may be up to $20,000 per county for each county that is included in the application.

Grant applicants may be funded at the amount applied for, or at a lesser amount.

Eligible Grant Applicants

Only one grant award will be made within each county. If several groups within a county are considering applying for this grant, the RIAA strongly encourages that they collaborate on submitting one application from the county.

The following entities located in North Carolina’s 85 rural counties are eligible applicants:

Eligible Grant Activities

Eligible Grant Expenditures

All items listed below are eligible grant expenditures. However, the RIAA intends that items 1, 2 and 3 listed below will comprise the majority of expenditures. Expenditures for the wiring of training rooms should not exceed $2000. Wiring expenses exceeding this amount must be detailed in the submitted proposal and will require specific approval from the RIAA office.

  1. Personnel costs
  2. Technical Assistance
  3. Costs directly related to the provision of training and staff development, as described in the eligible grant activities listed above.
  4. Purchase of hardware, software, and resource materials
  5. Wiring of Training Rooms

Digital/Internet Literacy Training Target Groups

This target list is intended to highlight the need to ensure that the following groups have opportunities to participate in training.

Grant Application Content

Grant applicants must include the following in their grant proposals:

Proposals will be evaluated and selected for funding on the basis of the above items.



Application Notification Requirements

Each application must include confirmations, from the County E-Champion and from the applicable RIAA Regional Program Officer, that he or she has been notified of the applicant’s intent to submit a grant proposal prior to submission.

Grants Awards/Contracts Schedule

May 17, 2002 Issue RFP

June 21, 2002 Grant Proposals Due

July 26, 2002 Grants Awarded (RIAA Commission Mtg.)

August 2002 Grants Contracts Signed

Project Fiscal Year July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003

Grants Implementation Schedule

September 1, 2002 Programs must be operational.





Eligible Counties

Rural Internet Access authority Digital/Internet Literacy Training grants are available for training activities located in any of the 85 rural counties listed below. No county is eligible to receive more than one grant.






























































































Application Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed to ensure that the application is received on time, is substantially complete and meets other eligibility requirements. If these standards are not met, the application will not receive further consideration.

  1. Timeliness. Applications will be reviewed to verify submission by the submission deadline. The Rural Internet Access Authority will reject applications that do not meet the submission deadline.
  2. Completeness. Applications will be reviewed to verify completeness. The Rural Internet Access Authority will reject applications that are materially incomplete.
  3. Eligible Counties. Applications will be reviewed to ensure that the proposed project will be located in communities as designated in "Eligible Counties" above.
  4. Eligible Applicant. Applications will be reviewed to verify the eligibility of the applicant. The applicant must be a public or private nonprofit organization, public or private institution of higher education, state or local agency or Native American tribal government. Individuals and for-profit organizations are ineligible.
  5. Eligible Activities. Applications will be reviewed to ensure that the activities for which assistance is requested are eligible for funding. It is expected that Digital/Internet Literacy Training will be comprised of the components described in the "Eligible Digital/Internet Literacy Training Grant Activities" section. An additional component, addressing local circumstances, is optional if the community deems it important to the success of the Digital/Internet Literacy Training.
  6. Sustainability. Applicants’ plans will be reviewed to ensure that the business plan for the proposed Digital/Internet Literacy Training will be sustainable over the long term.


Corrections to Deficient Applications

After the application due date, no unsolicited information will be considered. However, the Rural Internet Access Authority staff may contact the applicant to correct technical deficiencies. In each case of a completeness deficiency, the applicant will be notified by telephone and facsimile documenting the deficiency. All requested information must be received by July 1, 2002.


Scoring Sheet for RIAA Digital/Internet Literacy Training Grant


Applications will receive up to 100 points, according to the following rating factors:






Need for Project

    1. Identify and document the specific needs of your community that will be addressed by this Digital/Internet Literacy Training project.
    2. Are you emphasizing particular target group(s), if so, which one(s)?
    3. Explain specifically how the Digital/Internet Literacy Training Project will address these needs.



Project Work


    1. Provide a project implementation timeline.
    2. Describe specific training objectives, methods, and activities to be carried out as part of this project.
    3. Training schedule & location(s)
    4. Staff, job description, and necessary qualifications
    5. Estimated number of individuals to be trained over the project period. (August 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003).



Adherence to e-NC definition of


Literacy Training for this Grant

    1. Explain specifically how this project will deliver the skills and knowledge identified in the three levels of RIAA definition of digital/Internet literacy.
    2. Explain specifically what knowledge and skills this project will deliver in addition to those included in the three levels of digital/Internet literacy referred to above.



Collaboration &


    1. Identify other entities that are partnering with you to implement this project and describe the specific collaborations that make this project possible.
    2. Describe your plan for reaching out to your target groups and underserved populations in the community to identify and recruit customers for Digital/Internet Literacy Training.






    1. Attach a project budget, with justification for each line item.
    2. Identify existing funds and in-kind resources, in addition to RIAA Digital/Internet Literacy Training funds, that will help to support this project.
    3. Describe how your organization and community will continue Digital/Internet Literacy Training after this grant money has been expended.






Scores for each rating factor will be added together for each application to obtain a total score for each proposed Digital/Internet Literacy Training project. The applications will then be ranked from highest to lowest according to the total combined score.

Award Requirements

Each grantee will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the Rural Internet Access Authority via its fiscal agent, the North Carolina Rural Economic Center, Inc. before it can receive Digital/Internet Literacy Training grant funds or begin project activity. Some of the requirements and conditions are outlined below.

Rural Internet Access Authority Digital/Internet Literacy Training grant funds can only be used for the purposes set forth in the grant agreement.

All recipients must submit quarterly reports. Specific reporting requirements will be described in the grant agreement.


For Further Information

For further information about this program, please visit the Rural Internet Access Authority website at, e-mail us at or call 1-919-250-4314.


Requirements and Instructions

Applicants will be required to complete the following:

(1) Grant Application (enclosed).

(2) Narratives (maximum of 2 pages each) that address the following items.

Need for Project: Provide information about the community that will establish the context for this Digital/Internet Literacy Training project. Describe the specific training courses to be implemented. Show how the proposed Digital/Internet Literacy Training courses will meet a critical community need, economic development need, educational need, or governmental need.

Collaboration and Outreach: Describe the plans for most effectively informing the community about the existence, goals, and mission of your Digital/Internet Literacy Training programs. Indicate how public and private sector groups will be involved in building the Digital/Internet Literacy Training into a successful community activity.

Project Sustainability: The RIAA Digital/Internet Literacy Training grant will not be recurring. Therefore, plans must be presented to ensure the sustainability beyond grant funding. Describe your plans for funding once grant funds have been exhausted.

Adherence to e-NC Digital/Internet Literacy Definition: Indicate how this project will adhere to the definition of Digital/Internet Literacy Training as defined earlier in this document. Describe what knowledge and skills this project will deliver in addition to the three (3) basic levels described earlier.

(3) Exhibits to the application that address the following:

Project Work Plan: Provide a description of:

Project Budget: Provide a copy of the proposed project budget showing anticipated expenses and revenues. Sources of other grant or loan funds in the project should be clearly identified. Digital/Internet Literacy Training sustainability beyond the grant funding should be addressed.

Project Schedule: Provide the planned start date for Digital/Internet Literacy Training activities.

Identification of Other Funding Sources: Evidence of other funds or in-kind commitments to the Digital/Internet Literacy Training project should be provided with this application. If not yet committed, indicate projected dates of commitment for the funding.

In the case of 501(c)(3) organizations, a copy of its IRS tax-exempt status letter and a copy of its FY 2000 audit letter should be provided.

(4) A letter indicating that the local e-champion or designated e-Communities Steering Committee member has been notified of this grant submission. A list of e-champions can be obtained at, e-mail at or by calling 1-919-250-4314.

Grant Application Rural Internet Access Authority

Digital/Internet Literacy Training Project

General Information

Legal Name of Applicant Unit: ______________________________________________

Name and Title of Manager or CEO: __________________________________________

Mailing Address: ____________________ Street Address: ________________________

City: ________________________ State: ___________________ Zip: ______________

Telephone: _________________ Fax: __________________ E-Mail: _______________

Name and Title of person who wrote this application: ____________________________

Telephone: _________________ Fax: __________________ E-Mail: _______________

Project Contact: __________________________________________________________

(This project contact should be the person who can best answer project questions)

Address: ________________________________________________________________

Telephone/Fax/E-Mail (if different from above) _________________________________

Federal Tax ID Number: _________________ Fiscal Year-End Date: _______________

Type of Applicant: _______________________________________________________

Amount Requested: $___________________



Project Information

Project Title: _____________________________________________________________

Project Start Date: ________________

County(ies) to be served by Digital/Internet Literacy Training: _______________________________________

Population of project area: __________________________________________________

Region: ¨ Northwest

¨ Southwest

¨ Piedmont



¨ Southeast

¨ Northeast


Project Budget

Revenues Available

Indicate the sources, amounts, and dates of availability or status of funds to finance this project.

Amount Date Available Status

Funds from Applicant:


State Funds:


Local Funds:


Other Funding:

(Indicate source)


Amount of grant request:


Provide a line-item budget of expenditures planned for the Digital/Internet Literacy Training during its first year’s operation.









Certification by Applicant

The attached statements and exhibits are hereby made part of this application and the undersigned representative of the applicant certifies that the information in this application and the attached statements and exhibits is true, correct and complete to the best of his/her knowledge and belief. He/She further certifies that:

    1. As authorized representative, he/she has been authorized to file this application by formal action of the governing body;
    2. that the governing body agrees that if a grant from the RIAA Digital/Internet Literacy Training grant program is awarded, the applicant will provide proper and timely submittals of all documentation requested by the Grantor Agency (Rural Center);
    3. that the governing body agrees to provide for proper operation and maintenance of the approved Digital/Internet Literacy Training project after it’s completion;
    4. that the applicant has substantially complied with or will comply with all federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations and ordinances as applicable to the project.


Signature of Grantee/Authorized Representative

Typed Name and Title



Checklist for Additional Forms:

Please enclose the additional items before submitting:

¨ Application Form ¨ Narratives (see guidelines) ¨ Exhibits (see guidelines)

Submission Procedure

One signed original, five (5) printed copies and one electronic copy (Microsoft Word on diskette or CD-ROM) of this application and all relevant materials must be received by 2:00PM on the deadline date: Faxes are not acceptable. E-mails are not acceptable.

Rural Internet Access Authority

Digital/Internet Literacy Training Grants Program

4021 Carya Drive

Raleigh, North Carolina 27610