NY Community Trust Gives More than $800,000 to Bring Technology-Driven Learning to NYC Youth

Monday, September 12, 2016

NY Community Trust Gives More than $800,000 to Bring Technology-Driven Learning to NYC Youth

Several foundations are pooling resources to make 13 grants, totaling $835,600, to help young people use digital media to compose and record original music, advocate for immigrants' rights and school discipline reform, and produce documentary films.

The money is the latest in $8 million in grants in six years for students' digital media projects from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund, a donor collaborative housed in The New York Community Trust. The Fund supports innovative, technology-rich teen programs developed by the members of the Hive NYC Learning Network, a group of youth-serving nonprofits that collaborate on educational projects.

In addition to The Trust, contributors to the Fund include the Altman Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, and Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

This round of grants will help grantees take a slate of successful projects, most of which were previously incubated with Hive funding, and share them with new audiences.

For example, NYC Salt will bring intensive digital photography instruction to middle and high school students affiliated with Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center-allowing both groups to expand and deepen their work with teens.

"By partnering with the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center, which serves more than 10,000 youth each year, we can reach a much larger audience," says Alicia Hansen, NYC Salt's founder and executive director, "By working with us, the health center is expanding its wellness programming to include technology and the arts."

Another recipient, Beam Center, will use its grant to train future educators how to use technology in the classroom. The group has formed a partnership with the City's NY Men Teach Initiative, which is recruiting black, Hispanic, and Asian men to teach in the public schools. Participants will learn about coding, data visualization, digital fabrication, and other creative applications of technology, and share those lessons with their students.

"The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund is making it possible for more than a hundred new teachers-in-training to bring technology-infused projects into the classroom," says Brian Cohen, co-director of Beam Center. "This is the kind of teaching that gets kids excited about learning. Yet despite the rapid evolution of technology, many schools have yet to take advantage of its educational potential. With the support of the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund and the Hive NYC Learning Network, we're working to change that."

The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust is making the following 13 grants:

  • With a grant of $100,000, Beam Center will provide technology-focused professional development to teachers-in-training.
  • With $100,000, DreamYard Project will increase the use of "digital learning portfolios," which are websites or blogs featuring multi-media documentation of a young person's learning process and accomplishments.
  • A grant of $81,600 will help Educational Video Center expand a media arts program that helps underserved high school students produce videos and websites exploring social issues.
  • With a $100,000 grant, Games for Change will present a series of daylong game design events that encourage youth to invent, adapt, and re-imagine the rules for different games.
  • $100,000 will allow Global Action Project train teens and educators to create media campaigns about social issues such as immigrants' rights and school discipline reform
  • With $100,000, NYC Salt will teach digital photography and video production to teens affiliated with the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.
  • With a grant of $100,000, Reel Works will create web-based "digital badges," and use them to assess and document the skills and achievements of youth participating in media arts programs.
  • A $54,000 grant will help Sheltering Arms teach teens in Far Rockaway and Jamaica, Queens, how to create, record, and edit digital music.
  • With $100,000, Tribeca Film Institute will help incarcerated and court-involved youth make films and other digital media.
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