Southern Connected Communities Project, Clearfork Valley, Tennessee

Southern Connected Communities Project’s (SCCP) mission is to provide solutions for internet connectivity in underserved or unserved areas, with an emphasis on community input and ownership. Its particular focus now is in the Clearfork Valley area of East Tennessee, working closely with the Clearfork Community Institute (CCI). It has opened a Cyber Cafe at the Institute, which is the only public space and free internet access in the community. It’s also in the process of building an Appalachian Folk Archive, a collection of stories, videos, pictures, recipes, patterns (quilts, sewing projects, crochet/knit, etc) and water quality data housed on a portable network kit at Clearfork Community Institute for the community to view. In October 2021, SCCP launched a weekly Clearfork Youth Drop-In night at the CCI’s Cyber Cafe, offering free tutoring, games, and dinner. The youth drop-in is a safe space where school kids ages 8 and up are welcome to come, learn, relax, and enjoy the space. SCCP has worked to ensure that an adult will be present each night and has secured the help of several tutors to consistently provide tutoring for homework help, SAT and ACT-prep, college application help, job applications, and any other needs. The Highlander Center serves as SCCP’s fiscal sponsor.