During Sept – July, Youth in Focus executed new digital photography projects with other local youth organizations, Friends of the Children, Cleveland High School, Rainier Scholars, and Treehouse. Over the course of the project, 50 youth used computers and technology in creative ways. They gained the sense that technology is a tool to help them express themselves, not just something they react to or that is defined by other people’s rules as with a video game.
During April – June, Neighborhood House has continued the Digital Connectors program at the Rainier Vista Computer Lab. They also added an I-BEST Technology Bridge class provided by Seattle Central Community College and an ESL basic class taught by a volunteer.
Some of the students in the class included young men recently arrived from Eritrea that utilized the class as a transition into American society. Muruts was a student in his twenties and had only been in the United States for about 5 months before starting the I-Bridge class. Muruts said he enrolled to gain “more knowledge, to learn English and how to look for work.” After learning the basic skills of using “Microsoft Word documents, saving documents, and searching online for work” he says he now feels more comfortable in Seattle. The class has helped him learn to “fill applications and write letters. This helps me find work.”
The I-BEST Bridge class was diverse not only in peoples’ origins but also in their skill levels. Kassu was a more advanced student originally from Ethiopia who has a computer at home but was challenged by trying to learn technology through “trial and error” method. As a Nursing Assistant the skills he learned in class help him at work and he is better at using programs like Microsoft Word. He says the class helped because “practice is the main thing” and he was able to both practice and learn new skills. While he thought he would not need the English taught during class it has proven to be a good “refresher”. Ultimately Kassu has used the class as a bridge; he says it “has pushed me to think about more class.” He is currently thinking about joining the I-BEST program at Seattle Central Community College or taking online classes. He would like to work in the Information Technology field someday. He says he is “dying to learn about it since it has so many applications.”
The Tech Center was also busy with many other activities during this period. They expanded hours to include 12 hours of open lab time per month. The staff also facilitated two Basic Computer Skills training classes for Home Care Aides from Service Employee International Union (SEIU). The lab provided space for the King County Work Training Program – Greenlight Project to help students to learn how to search for jobs and prepare resumes. They also offered a Free Tax Prep Workshop in April for people in the community to come in and get assistance to complete their income taxes.
Learn more about the 2010 Technology Matching Fund grantees at http://seattle.gov/tech/tmf/Projects2010.htm
With Technology Matching Funds the First Tee of Greater Seattle added new camcorders and IMacs to their First Tee Learning Center. The 105 students in the program are using the new technology in a variety of ways. Students are learning video skills to create “goal ladders” to assess their current positions and set attainable goals based on where they want to be in the future. In addition to using the computers to learn job readiness skills, First Tee Mentors and mentees are using iMovie software to record their experiences. The “Girls Club” classes created a “She Rocks” video. Learn more about the 2010 Technology Matching Fund grantees at http://seattle.gov/tech/tmf/Projects2010.htm .
Attend a free drop-in help session this Saturday to learn how to use the City’s online grants management tool for the Technology Matching Fund and Neighborhood Matching Funds. The session will be held Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 a.m. at the Garfield Community Center Computer Lab, located at 2323 E Cherry St. Contact Delia Burke at 233-2751 for more information. The Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund deadline is May 19th. The NMF Small and Simple deadline is May 9th.
Starting in Jan, 2011, the Coalition of Refugees from Burma’s Mobile Computer Literacy Training team began delivering computer literacy training to newly arrived refugees from Burma in languages understood by refugees. The CRB provides weekly computer literacy training. Three hour long computer literacy classes are held in Tukwila on Saturdays and Seattle on Sundays. This project is supported by the City’s Technology Matching Fund. Photos from the first trainings are online:
More information at www.allBurmaRefugees.org, Facebook.com/BurmaRefugees
The YMCA of Greater Seattle has wrapped up a 2009 Tech Matching Fund grant. With $19K in city funds and over $28k in matching contributions, the Y trained 257 youth in middle and high school using a moblie lab. The youth gained skills in online safety, Internet research, digital photography, video production, media literacy, effective communication, graphics design, social networking, blogging and podcasting. Here is a slide show produced by an Aki Kurose student http://www.pugetsoundoff.org/video/11797, and a video from a Hamilton middle school youth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzmyXU0Wsns