Advocacy

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#ActivateSummer is Here! Donate to “Seed a Series.”

Friends of Digi-Bridge,

It’s daunting sometimes to look at today’s scholars and envision their futures. What skills will they need? What jobs will be available to them? Will they be prepared? Consider this …

  • Nine in ten parents want their child to study computer science, but only one in four schools teaches computer programming.
  • Computing makes up 2/3 of projected new jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
  • Computing occupations are among the highest-paying jobs for new graduates. Yet, fewer than 3 percent of college students graduate with a degree in computer science, and only 8 percent of STEM graduates are in computer science. –Source data

Today, July 16, marks the launch of Digi-Bridge’s 2018 #ActivateSummer mid-year giving campaign. This campaign will run through July 30. Will you consider donating? 

The solutions to tomorrow’s challenges lie untapped in the minds of our scholars today. #ActivateSummer campaign manifested to tap into the minds of our scholars and prime them to compete in tomorrow’s digital landscape.

Digi-Bridge and our supporters unwaveringly believe that every learner deserves access to quality instruction that will equip them with 21st century skills necessary to pursue careers in the world’s digital future.

The goal for 2018 #ActivateSummer campaign is to raise $5,000.

This year, your gifts will allow Digi-Bridge to “Seed a Series.” Your donations will be utilized to develop a new Digi-Bin series that focuses on fostering scholars’ skills in object-oriented programming (coding).

Through your gift to #ActivateSummer, Digi-Bridge will develop approximately 7.5 hours of curriculum and that will be used to serve thousands – literally thousands – of Digi-Bridge scholars.

Will you join us today in our efforts to “Seed a Series”? You can make your secure gift here

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration. Let’s #ActivateSummer!

Cheers,

DJ

P.S. – Please share news of your commitment on social media using #ActivateSummer!

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2,068 in 2017: we will #ReachOurFuture!

Friends,

That’s right, thanks to the support of our community we served 2,068 scholars with hands-on 21st century learning in 2017!

We at Digi-Bridge are grateful to look back on 2017 as a year of significant progress towards bridging the digital divide.

This year, Digi-Bridge has:

  • Grown our #STEAMSaturdays family by adding two more sites – Briarwood Academy and Montclaire Elementary
  • Hosted four community Code-In events with the help of Google Fiber, including our first ever #FamilyCodeIn
  • Surpassed our fundraising goals with two different giving campaigns – #ActivateSummer and #GivingTuesdayCLT
  • Launched our second successful Robotics Squad programming, this time at Renaissance West Community Initiative
  • Renewed our commitment to computer science education for all students (#CSForAll)
  • Created new educational partnerships with other passionate organizations, including Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, Freedom School Partners, Cabarrus County Libraries, Opera Carolina and Brookstone Schools

We’ve made tremendous progress this year and look forward to continuing this work in 2018!

How can you help us Reach Our Future?

  • Head to digi-bridge.org/reach-our-future to learn more
  • Click here to join our mailing list
  • Follow us on all social media at @DigiBridgeUS to stay updated

Tonight, 2,068 scholars in Charlotte are going to sleep with newfound knowledge and skill thanks to you! Together, we will #ReachOurFuture.

With tremendous gratitude,

DJ

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You made #GivingTuesdayCLT a huge success!

Friends,

Wow! We at Digi-Bridge are blown away by the support from our community during #GivingTuesdayCLT. We raised $10,214, exceeding our goal! Here’s how that breaks down:

  • $6714 in individual gifts
    • Including $1915 in gifts made as a part of a three year commitment to Reach Our Future
  • $2500 as a match committed by Tresata
  • $1000 as a match committed by OrthoCarolina Foundation

As a reminder, these funds go directly to providing 21st century learning opportunities to Charlotte’s K-8 scholars in the form of hands-on STEAM learning, robotics and computer programming.

If you were unable to give yesterday, know that we’re still eager to engage you! The Reach Our Future campaign, which aims to raise $1M in a year to keep these opportunities available to our scholars for the next three years, will run until next November. You can learn more and make your gift here.

Thank you for your commitment to Digi-Bridge on Giving Tuesday. Now, let’s Reach Our Future!

With gratitude,

DJ

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Double your impact today: #GivingTuesdayCLT

Friends,

Great news! It’s Nov. 28, which means it’s your turn to be a part of the biggest giving day that Charlotte has ever seen! Giving Tuesday is the annual global day of giving everyone is talking about, and the Queen City is taking it by storm.

Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesdayCLT is a day for the Charlotte community – families, businesses, students and others – to come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Be a part of the Giving Tuesday CLT movement!

Digi-Bridge’s goal is to raise $10,000 towards our Reach Our Future campaign, a yearlong goal to raise $1M that will allow us to serve 1000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg scholars per year for the next three years with hands-on, 21st century learning opportunities. This campaign is about offering high-quality programming to all scholars in our community and strengthening our voice in rooms where policies are made. And we can’t do it without you.

Our friends at Tresata and OrthoCarolina Foundation have stepped up to ensure that your gift goes further, but today is the last chance for your gift to be doubled! We hope that you will consider making a three-year commitment, as the scholars in this community are our scholars, and investing in them is investing in a future we all share.

We would love to have you join us on this journey. You can make your gift at bit.ly/FutureDB.

Let’s #ReachOurFuture!

With tremendous gratitude,

DJ

 

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Thanks for connecting with us at #TBT 3.0!

Friends of Digi-Bridge,

We had a totally tubular time last night at #TBT 3.0. A big thank you to all who joined us! We were so pleased to have spent the evening with you as we kicked off our Reach Our Future campaign.

At its core, Reach Our Future is about coming together as a community to ensure that the scholars who live here have access to the tools and opportunities they need to thrive and build a better tomorrow. We are so thankful to have the support of our community behind us in making this commitment.

We’re still going through the photos of all the rad 80’s outfits we saw. The winner of a brand new Amazon Echo will be determined by social voting, so head over to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you can share and like photos from the event. Don’t forget to tag us @DigiBridgeUS and use our hashtag, #ReachOurFuture, so we’re sure to see you! Once we post an album with all of the photos, you will have one week to vote.

As we mentioned last night, the Reach Our Future campaign is about offering high-quality programming to all scholars in our community and strengthening our voice in rooms where policies are made. And we can’t do it without you.

We need your support to amplify our reach. Please share our campaign widely, encourage others to engage, and reach out to us if you have any other ideas about how we accelerate these efforts.

The scholars in this community are our scholars, and investing in them is investing in a future we all share.

We would love to have you join us on this journey. Let’s #ReachOurFuture!

With tremendous gratitude and anticipation,

DJ

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Today’s the Day for #TBT: Connect to Disconnect!

Dear Friends,

It’s almost time to “Throwback” with Digi-Bridge today from  6-8 pm at Queen Park Social. This is our chance to “Connect to Disconnect” in an effort to raise awareness about the digital divide.

It’s estimated that one third of Charlotte-Mecklenburg scholars do not have access to an internet-connected device at home. This reality requires all of us to consider how we might engage to support their future, because as a community, their future is ours.

Join us for beverages and light bites in a hip setting straight out of the 1980’s – the era that brought the Internet to life. Digi-Bridge encourages guests to dress for the decade (with a prize for best dressed), take part in some good ol’ fashioned conversation and networking, and experience what it’s like to be without access by tendering phones at the door. Don’t worry, you’ll get them back in time for a very special announcement at 7pm!

Tickets are limited so register now at http://bit.ly/digibridgetbt3.

Please contact Zach McRae (zach@digi-bridge.org) with any questions and follow us on social media for updates at @digibridgeus.

See you at #TBT!

Cheers,

DJ

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Connect to Disconnect at #TBT 3.0!

Dear Friends,

We at Digi-Bridge are excited to announce our third annual #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) event on Thursday, November 2nd from 6-8 p.m. with the theme of “Connect to Disconnect” in an effort to raise awareness about the digital divide. The event will take place at Queen Park Social in South End.

It’s estimated that one third of Charlotte-Mecklenburg scholars do not have access to an internet-connected device at home. This reality requires all of us to consider how we might engage to support their future, because as a community, their future is ours.

We’ll enjoy beverages and light bites in a hip setting straight out of the 1980’s – the era that brought the Internet to life. Digi-Bridge encourages guests to dress for the decade, take part in some good ol’ fashioned conversation and networking, and experience what it’s like to be without access by tendering phones at the door. Don’t worry, you’ll get them back in time for a very special announcement at 7pm!

Tickets are limited so get yours now at http://bit.ly/digibridgetbt3.

Please contact Zach McRae (zach@digi-bridge.org) with any questions and follow us on social media for updates at @digibridgeus.

See you at #TBT!

DJ

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STEAM Learning Through Hip Hop?

Friends,

This summer has been full of new and exciting partnerships for Digi-Bridge. Today, I want to tell you about a particularly unique collaboration that I bet you wouldn’t expect: STEAM education and hip-hop.

Earlier this month, we were invited to be a part of The Intersection: A Conversation About Hip-Hop Culture and Education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American  Arts + Culture. Scholars and their families gathered for a performance and presentation by Jahi of PE 2.0, an artist with immense talent, experience and perspective on the importance of hip hop in learning about arts and culture.img_4867Led by #STEAMSaturdays facilitator Kia Moore, a room full of young music-loving scholars were able to take their learning into their own hands with our DJ Digi-Bin by exploring the math, listening and problem-solving skills that allow a DJ to do their job and keep the party going! Scholars learned some basics, then got to apply their mixing technique to their choice of today’s Billboard hits.

img_4856Next, a couple of talented young DJs from With These Handz DJ Academy allowed scholars to put these skills to the test and play their creations on a turntable for everyone to hear.

It was truly an exciting day of hands-on learning for everyone involved. We are so grateful to the Gantt Center for catalyzing this collaboration

Whether through creating your own music or creating your own robot, putting these kinds of experiences in the hands of Charlotte scholars is exactly what we strive to do. To learn more about how you can provide  21st century teaching and learning opportunities to all Charlotte scholars, head to digi-bridge.org/donate and support us as we work to  #ActivateSummer.

Together, we will #bridgethedivide.

 

With tremendous gratitude,

DJ

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You Can #ActivateSummer for Charlotte Scholars!

Friends of Digi-Bridge-

Today, we are excited to launch our 2017 #ActivateSummer campaign. This year, our fundraising efforts will support our 2017-18 Robotics squads in the West and Northwest Corridors of Charlotte.

Last fall, we decided to form our very first Robotics squad at Allenbrook Elementary School, a Title I elementary school in our West Corridor. Under the direction of our Chief Academic Officer, Ms. Torie Leslie, our team spent Tuesday and Thursday afternoons working together to complete programming and robotics challenges.

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The SWARM, Allenbrook’s FIRST LEGO League competitive team, represents an opportunity for scholars to participate in a highly-acclaimed and respected STEAM competition that teaches global awareness, teamwork, computer programming, structural development and design, character building and commitment. These 21st century skills will help scholars to become career conscious and college-ready!

Your support will help us extend programming and robotics to students like Harrison in 2017-18.

Harrison: a Leader in the Making
The SWARM was made for scholars like Harrison. He is intelligent, loves LEGOs, and is excited to be around a set of peers with a similar desire and mindset, so it was quite a surprise one afternoon when he came to tell his coach, Ms. Leslie, that he’d decided to quit the squad. He brought his friend with him for support to break the news. He admitted that the squad “stressed him out.” Between his homework, family responsibilities and his other organized commitments something had to go and he decided it was The SWARM. However, by the next practice Harrison was back with us and he explained that his Dad would not let him quit. He had committed to joining and he was to see it through.

It was never our intent to have scholars on the squad that didn’t want to be there, so Harrison sat down with Ms. Leslie and together they developed a plan to help him manage his time. Harrison is a natural programmer so we resolved that programming/coding would be his “area of expertise” on the squad, hoping to relieve his pressure around other areas of the competition that caused him anxiety. Each meeting started with social time, so he would use that to knock out one of his homework assignments to give him more time when he got home. His natural ability, now focused and growing, made him a leader on the team. When his coach would bring him a programming issue, he’d say “hmmm, let’s see” and this new attitude brought Ms. Leslie great pride and joy.
On the day of competition during the robot game challenge, when The SWARM’s team number was called to meet down on the competition floor, it was Harrison who lead the charge down the bleachers to face the challenge. At that moment, The SWARM was just like every other team, present and ready to compete. How many more Harrisons are out there who just need the opportunity to uncover their talent and the chance to showcase it? We’re willing to find them!

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This summer, we are asking for your support to find and support as many scholars like Harrison as we can. Our schools are overflowing with talented young leaders and we are ready to engage them in efforts to #bridgethedivide!

Our goal to raise $5,000 will help to fund a robotics squad opportunity for up to thirty scholars with at least ten from that cohort earning the opportunity to compete. Our friends at Google Fiber have committed to matching donations up to that amount, which means you can help us raise a total of $10,000 for Digi-Bridge scholars! To make your contribution now, click here.

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The SWARM has a slogan they created last year and I think it only fitting that I end with it today.

“We are a team!”

With gratitude,

DJ

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NAYGN and Digi-Bridge: Generating STEAM Together!

Friends,

Partnership is a wonderful thing. When we had the pleasure of being introduced to Alyse Scurlock, a nuclear engineer with Duke Energy, we knew someone had connected the dots because of our mutual passion for STEAM education.

Thanks to Alyse and the support of Duke Energy, we have partnered with NAYGN (the North American Young Generation in Nuclear), a program filled with bright young scientists and engineers in the field of nuclear energy. The organization works to develop professionals who can become leadership figures that inspire others and inform the public about nuclear. This work aligns beautifully with our mission to prepare a generation of 21st century learners with STEAM education!

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On Wednesday night (June 7th), we had the pleasure of joining the group at their img_4665conference dinner that brought together a group of regional scientists and engineers on the beautiful vista of the Duke Energy Center. The young scientists learned a little about what we do at Digi-Bridge and engaged with us throughout the evening in various activities that help us to serve K-8 scholars.

By the end of the night our table had two impressive stacks of paper, one was of the scientists’ favorite experiments that we could adapt for use in our Digi-Bin curriculum, the other was of heartfelt letters written to our scholars encouraging them to consider a pathway to a career in STEAM. The table also got a lot more colorful with the addition of donated LEGO sets! We were truly touched by the generosity of these STEAM professionals.

The next day we were invited to visit the Nuclear Takeover at Discovery Place. The NAYGN team had set up several stations with hands–on activities for the young visitors to explore the world of nuclear energy. From gamma radiation to circuitry to chain reactions, scholars were exploring and learning and having a blast.

We would like to thank Alyse, Duke Energy and NAYGN for this opportunity and for their commitment to the 21st century. Together, we will create pathways for our future scientists, technologists, engineers, artists and mathematicians. Let’s continue this work and #bridgethedivide!

Cheers,

DJ

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