I love being able to race with a good group of friends. What an amazingly fun event!
Simpson Street Free Press (SSFP) delivers high-quality, core subject academic instruction during after-school and summer hours. Students write and read extensively. They explore across the curriculum and investigate core subject areas (history, science, the arts). Then they write and publish. SSPF’s motto is “Never Turn In Your First Draft”. In 2019 SSFP received a Technology Education Foundation grant to develop and publish a new content area, “Science of Wisconsin’s Environment”. Due to the great success and interest in this area, SSFP was awarded another grant to continue this effort in 2020.
More than 250 students in grades 2-12 were enrolled in SSFP programs in 2019. SSFP is based in decidedly low-income areas across Madison and Dane County. About 80% are students of color and almost 50% are ELL or DLI youth. SSPF programs are well established in neighborhoods where access to extended-day learning opportunities and technology education are limited.
SSFP includes very specific outcomes and measurement tools in their proposed outcome plans. In almost all cases the project has exceeded expectations. They have added more students, launched the new middle school publication focused on STEM learning, and purchased needed technology for two newsroom sites. And most importantly, objective school-based tests show substantial and measurable academic progress among students enrolled in SSFP programs.
One City Schools (OCS) is an amazing and growing charter school that welcomes children from age 2 through 1st grade. OSC was founded by Kaleem Caire, a pioneer in youth education in the Madison Area.
The school is open year-round and largely hosts lower-income children, 70% being African American. The year-round programming provides continuity of learning for both students and families. Evaluation of the year-round program is being analyzed to determine if there are positive impacts on educational outcomes as these children move through grade levels.
In 2019 OCS was awarded a grant for the purchase of 12 Chromebooks to enable the implementation of “Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessments” of students. The Chromebooks are also used for instructional purposes. MAP assessments are not typically done until the 3rd grade in the Madison Metropolitan School District, so having the ability to begin with a much younger learning group will provide valuable information and data.
One of the innovative approaches that OCS has implemented is that of Ani Play which is a method of teaching creative expression and “play sharing”. OCS is the only school in the country that has adopted Anji Play, although it is used internationally and has its roots in Anji County China.
TEF funding supports the YWCA, and the YWeb Career Academy (YWebCA). YWebCA targets young women and young people of color who are underrepresented in technology careers. The goal of YWebCA is to prepare students for – and increase the opportunities to obtain – family-sustaining jobs while meeting a gap in the labor market for these positions. YWebCA provides instruction in website development skills and also covers job readiness, team building, and hands-on learning in computer programming through an intensive training institute.
TEF funding goes directly to support YWebCA participants – and enables important programming to take place including instruction in website development skills, and hands-on learning in computer programming through an intensive training institute. Participants are also actively involved in learning the skills needed to be “job-ready”, and team building activities are included as well.
The way that YWebCA works is unique. The program includes 400 hours of intensive technical training. Students are expected to complete job-related projects and work outside of class time and be actively engaged in the learning process. Importantly, “soft” skills are also a part of the program and are equally important for program participants to learn to increase their chance of success in the long term.