About us

Where we came from

The Need

Don Tapscott coined the phrased “Digital Divide” in his 1997 book Growing Up Digital. He wrote of the danger that we’d “create a world of haves and have-nots, knowers and know-nots, doers and do-nots.”

The digital divide

Don Tapscott coined the phrased “digital divide” in his 1997 book Growing Up Digital. He wrote of the danger that we’d “create a world of haves and have-nots, knowers and know-nots, doers and do-nots, people who can communicate with the rest of the world and those who can’t. This is called creating a structural underclass, and it creates wounds in society that will be hard to heal.”

More then Computers

Most commonly a digital divide stems from poverty and the economic barriers that limit resources and prevent people from obtaining or otherwise using newer technologies.

However, research shows that the digital divide is more than just an access issue and cannot be alleviated merely by providing the necessary equipment. There are a least three factors at play; information accessibility, information utilization and information receptiveness. Beyond accessibility, individuals need to know how to make use of the information and communication tools once they exist within a community.

Our Unique Solution

Kids, Cops & Computers success lies in the fact that we don’t just provide a computer and then leave the picture. We ensure our kids have access to the Internet, become confident users of their machines and see the opportunities in their academic lives (and our Program) to use their resources and skills.

The Beginning

While Don Tapscott was coining the phrase ‘”Digital Divide” we were connecting 21 kids in the Peel District School Board to their future by installing desktop computers and dial-up Internet connections in their homes.

Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation was co-founded by G. Scott Paterson and John McMahon with the vision to help “Turn on learning.” Their goal was to get technology into the hands of kids and help one’s ability to get ahead in the millennium global arena.

While Don Tapscott was coining the phrase ‘”Digital Divide” we were connecting 21 kids in the Peel District School Board to their future by installing desktop computers and dial-up Internet connections in their homes.

 

Toronto District School Board Joins the Program and 28 computers were installed in homes in Regent Park. We welcomed Bill Blair and the Toronto Police Service to the Program and gave each of out kids an “ebuddy” a police officer to communicate with via email.

After a successful distribution of 49 home computer systems and Internet dial-ups, Merry Go Round was ready for a full-scale launch of its community outreach program: Kids, Cops & Computers. Mr. Paterson secured four founding partners to launch the Program: Rogers, IBM Canada, Microsoft and CDI College. Through eBuddy mentorship, a healthy relationship between kids and police began to develop.

The Pivot

After a decade of modest growth, we reached a turning point where we were able to distribute 214 computers and double the number of schools we were in.

After a decade of modest growth, we reached a turning point where we were able to distribute 214 computers and double the number of schools we were in. Each year following we continued rapid growth and expanding throughout the school boards.

As the Program expanded, so did the structure. With hundreds of kids in the program we needed to adapt. We moved on from the eBuddy component the Program and introduced Lead & Learn sessions where officers came into the schools to share information and interact with the kids.

Today we are welcoming 600 new kids to our Program and introducing new Programming for our Senior Years. Look back on our last 18 years we are so proud of how we have grown and expanded and look forward to all the future has in stores.

After nearly two decades of championing the cause of digital equality, we continue to connect leaders and philanthropists to our vision of all kids being equipped for the digital economy.