The Worcester Business Journal has caught wind of our collaboration for Microsoft, and they were so excited that they featured us on their cover! Microsoft has chosen the Club to be the only place in Worcester to pilot their Learning, Accessibility, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) instructional technology tools. (PLEASE CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ FULL ARTICLE IN WORCESTER BUSINESS JOURNAL)
Thirty of our members have been selected to participate in this learning series, which will utilize individual tablets, one-on-one instruction, and personalized learning techniques. The key areas of focus will be reading, digital inking for mathematics, science, and learning and accessibility tools to meet the needs of diverse learners.
In addition, this pilot meets the needs of all youth including English Language Learners, Special Education students, and youth with disabilities. Our kids will be trained in STEAM-based learning programs including Minecraft, OneNote, Edge, and Sway. Tinker, a coding platform for kids, will give our youth the opportunity to produce images on our 3D printer. Our staff are completing three 2-3-hour training sessions with the Microsoft Learning Consultant, that will provide adequate comprehensive instruction, so we can meet our pre-determined goals.
As an academic leader in the Worcester community, the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester strives to provide all youth with the necessary skills and preparation to achieve success. We are the only Club in Massachusetts chosen to adopt these instructional technology tools. Our academic assistance track record speaks for itself: 100% of our 2017 graduating high school seniors were accepted to college, and 90% of participants in our homework help program consistently raise their grades by at least one letter. We utilize college volunteers from WPI to provide our members with and train our staff in specialized assistance in STEM and STEAM-based learning. 80% of Club members are living at or below the federal poverty line, and 92% have no access to a computer at home. The Boys & Girls Club is the only place they’re able to complete homework assignments, complete required school research, and explore online college applications. “We are grateful to Microsoft for allowing our Club to introduce these tools to our community. Education should not be a one-size-fits-all, so we are happy to be piloting learning and accessibility tools that will address kids learning challenges as well as amplify their strengths”, says Executive Director, Liz Hamilton.