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Charlotte

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Fall into #STEAMSaturdays!

Friends of Digi-Bridge-

I hope this message finds all of our scholars and their families safe and dry. As the sun starts to shine again and the temperature drops (ever so slightly!), we’re excited to share news of our Fall #STEAMSaturdays! Courses this season will take place at Hygge Coworking in West Charlotte and The Hurt Hub@Davidson in Davidson.

Whether you’re brand new to #STEAMSaturdays or have been with us before, our courses offer something for every scholar. Each course will have time allotted for work in our coding portal, where your K-8 scholar will be introduced to a variety of object-oriented computer programming languages. The personalized learning platform allows individuals to move at their own pace, making this course valuable for learners of all levels. Of course, we will have a number of Lego WeDo programming opportunities available, too. As always, scholars will self-select projects. 

We have seats available at both locations for courses on October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3. from 9-10:30am. The best part? New this season you can easily register your scholar for individual courses at $30 a course or you can register for the entire season for just $125, a savings of $25.

Click here to register your scholar for courses at whichever location is most convenient for your family. Don’t forget to tell your friends and neighbors. Together, we will #ReachOurFuture by creating innovators!

Cheers,

DJ

P.S. – Interested in bringing a friend? Shoot Christine@digi-bridge.org an email and she will hook you up with a free buddy pass.

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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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#STEAMSaturdays Summer Edition

Friends of Digi-Bridge-

With one month of summer vacation in the books and 4th of July fireworks in the rearview mirror, scholars in Charlotte are hitting that point where being back in school with friends and a routine isn’t such a bad thing.

It’s also about the time when parents may be concerned about their scholars losing important knowledge and skills acquired during the previous school year … and with good reason.

A study by Brookings Institution focusing on summer learning loss concluded that on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning, declines were sharper for math than for reading, and the extent of loss was larger at higher grade levels.

But there are ways to help prevent summer learning loss. One way is by attending programs like Digi-Bridge’s #STEAMSaturdays (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). These weekly 90-minute courses for K-8th graders are taught by qualified facilitators and focus on science, engineering, teamwork and creativity.

Using LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 curriculum, scholars are challenged to build, create and program characters such as Milo the Science Rover. During each session scholars are encouraged to become stronger problem solvers, grow literacy and math skills, expand creativity and bring ideas to life.

“I like coming in on Saturday because we get to build stuff,” said rising 3rd-grader Heaven, 9, after her first #STEAMSaturdays session. “I like building and then making it work!”

An hour and a half of LEGO play during #STEAMSaturdays can inspire creative play long after the courses are done. After building Milo the Science Rover, your scholar can take the experience home and draw pictures, build accompanying characters, read more about what made it work.

Do you know a scholar who would benefit from some summer fun? Sign up today for #STEAMSaturdays. There are five sessions remaining: 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4 and 8/11.

Sessions are $25 and sessions are held from 9-10:30 a.m. at:

Hygge Coworking West (2128 Remount Rd. in Charlotte)

The Hurt Hub@Davidson College (210 Delburg St. in Davidson)

Looking forward to learning by doing with your scholar soon. Together, we will #ReachOurFuture!

Cheers,

DJ

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Guest Blog: Allenbrook educator and coach of “The Swarm,” Ms. Artrice Johnson

During the 2017-18 school year, thanks to a generous gift from Google Fiber, Digi-Bridge was able to grow The Swarm at Allenbrook Elementary School – a competition programming and robotics squad that’s currently serving thirty scholars. As we head into the end of the academic year, Ms. Johnson, educator and coach, shares her reflections.

When I share my narrative as an educator with people and I mention that I am Robotics coach, many ask, “How did you get into that?” Being asked about the beginning of my ventures in Robotics always helps to remind that no matter how long one has been teaching, there is always room to grow and learn.

Last school year, I joined Allenbrook’s Robotics squad as a way to engage one particular student. She wanted to join the team, but was also interested in joining the step team. Her concern, besides the conflict of schedules of the two teams, was that some of the other students may have thought that she was “not cool”or a “nerd” if they knew she was in Robotics. There were also no other brown girls, to her knowledge, that were joining the Robotics team. Of course, I strongly encouraged her to join despite her fears, but things went a step further when I found out from the facilitator, Torie Leslie, that the squad was in need of another coach and a teacher from the school would be ideal.

I pondered if this was something that I could do – of course my creative abilities had been out to use with Legos before, but I had never built a robot in my life and I didn’t know much about computer programming beyond the very basics! As I faced my own fears of the unknown, I could imagine my student’s face and was also reminded of her fears. I told my student that I was going to join the Robotics team as well, and I shared my concerns with her; I told her that I had never done anything like this and I was worried that I wouldn’t be that a good of a coach, BUT I was willing to give it a try and learn alongside her and the rest of the scholars.

Needless to say, we had a very successful season. We all gained a plethora of knowledge and shared experiences such as competing in the First Lego League Robotics Competition, and attending a Hornets basketball game with the honor of walking on court to receive recognition during half-time. Overall, the most valuable experience was watching the scholars work together as a team and building off of each other’s strengths to be a successful group.

As we are flowing through Robotics this school at year Allenbrook, I can see some of those same characteristics as last year’s group – students are working together in order to build each other up based off their own strengths. For instance, students have been working in pairs – one partner who may find building to be a strength, and one who is more comfortable with coding. From my perspective, this helps all scholars to feel accomplished with tasks that may seem daunting to the other, but all the while they are still learning from each other.

Arrow on Ms. Johnson – a group picture from competition in 2017

Without the gracious gifts from Google Fiber, Allenbrook’s Robotics Club would be nonexistent and our scholars would not have such special opportunities to explore new skills and abilities. We all continue to gain knowledge as a group, and we all are also facing fears of the unknown. Without a doubt we are “swarming” misbeliefs, discomfort, and fears with pride, bravery, and teamwork!

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Summer #STEAMSaturdays are Just Around the Corner!

Friends,
We at Digi-Bridge are preparing to kick off our Summer #STEAMSaturdays in three different locations. It’s a very exciting time for us and img_3760we want to make sure you have the chance to be a part of our growing efforts to #bridgethedivide.
Registration is still open and will remain open throughout our Summer series as you are now able to register for each class individually. We want our STEAM enrichment to be available to your family no matter what your Summer holds!
As always, in addition to advancing through our coding portal, scholars will have an opportunity to engage in hands-on STEAM activities. Here is a preview of our Summer offerings from our BodyWorks series as well as a special bonus from Careers in the Arts:

May 6th – Analyzing our Airways

May 13th- Moving with Muscles

May 20th- Seeing Eye to Eye

May 27th- The Blood Within Us

June 3rd- Cruising through the Kidneys

June 10th- DJ Bin (pulse, beats, and beat combination) *Hygge West and Birkdale only

Here again are all the details and the link to register:
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Locations : Hygge Coworking West, Advent Coworking, and Birkdale Offices

Dates : Six Saturdays from May 6 – June 10
(Five Saturdays, May 6 – June 3 at Advent Coworking)
 
Time : 9 – 10:30 am
Cost : $25 per Saturday
Register now on our site by clicking here.
 
Feel free to reach out to Kelly@digi-bridge.org with any questions.
Cheers,
DJ

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Get Ready for Demo Day and Summer #STEAMSaturdays!

Friends,
Summer is quickly approaching and we know that your schedules are filling up with lots of great activities and vacations. We wanted to share with you all what Digi-Bridge has on its calendar so that you can include us in your summer fun!

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FREE Demo Day (This Saturday!)
If you are interested in learning more about our #STEAMSaturdays but aren’t quite sure you’re ready to register, we are hosting a Free Demo Day so that you can come try it out.

We will walk you, the parents, through the process so you understand the core principles of #STEAMSaturdays while your scholar gets to experience it firsthand. It’s Digi-Bridge’s “Try Before You Buy” event, if you will! We only have a few spots left, so click here to register now!

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Location: Hygge Coworking West
2128 Remount Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28208
Time/Date: Saturday, April 22nd from 9 am- 10:30 am.
Cost: FREE
Ages : K – 8
Summer #STEAMSaturdays
If you are ready to jump right into our #STEAMSaturdays classes, great! Your scholar(s) will get to experience a hands-on activity from one of our series of interactive Digi-Bins. These activities allow students to explore and play in a constructive way while learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
They also get to learn the foundations of coding by using to our online activities portal! We spend part of every class exploring online and working in programs that help introduce your children to (or continue their training in) the concepts of coding.
We have 3 Summer locations: Huntersville, Plaza Midwood, and West Charlotte.
We want this experience to be as flexible as possible for your family, so we are now offering individual Saturdays. That means you can sign up for just 1 or 2 specific Saturdays if you need to work around other Summer plans,  or you can go ahead and register for all 6 Saturdays offered!
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Locations : Hygge Coworking West, Advent Coworking , and Birkdale Offices

Dates : 6 Saturdays from May 6 – June 10
(5 Saturdays, May 6 – June 3 at Advent Coworking)
 
Time : 9 – 10:30 am
Cost : $25 per Saturday
Register now on our site by clicking here.
 
Feel free to reach out to Kelly@digi-bridge.org with any questions.
Stay cool out there!
Cheers,
DJ

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Look what YOU did!

Friends of Digi-Bridge,

At our summer board meeting, I said “let’s raise $10,000 during our End of Year Giving Campaign,” and the room went silent.

This weekend, while snowed in, I sat in front of an Excel spreadsheet, entered the last few check amounts and I started belting out Notorious B.I.G. lyrics (not suitable for mom or dad). The room was still silent, though this time my dogs were looking at me like I had completely lost it.

YOU showed up in November and December–committing your time, talent and treasure to our organization. YOU helped us to raise $10,820 in just six short weeks. Some of you served as social media influencers, others donated time stuffing envelopes and many of you shared your personal treasure in support of our efforts to #bridgethedivide.

2016 was a remarkable year for Digi-Bridge:

  • In March, Digi-Bridge was named a Playing for Others honoree for 2016-17.
  • In April, Digi-Bridge took the SEED20 stage.
  • In June, we co-hosted #iMakeCLT at C3 Lab, inspired by a placemaking microgrant from Historic South End and powered by UTC Aerospace.
  • In August, we held our first Daddy Daughter Code-In (#DDCodeIn) at Google Fiber.
  • In September, Digi-Bridge received the largest grant ever gifted by the OrthoCarolina Foundation.
  • Also in September, Digi-Bridge was honored by the White House Office of Science and Technology for our commitment to Computer Science for All (#CSforAll).
  • In October, I took the TEDxCharlotte stage sharing an idea for the 21st century learner.
  • In November, we became a Social Venture Partners investee and received gifts from Reemprise Fund and Knight Foundation.

2017 is here and I find myself silent quite frequently. My family and Digi-Bridge staff have all noted this marked change. I’m taking the time to celebrate progress and reflect on the road ahead. We’ve got work to do, but together, I’m absolutely certain we will get it done. Look what YOU did in just a few weeks.

Enjoy the silence, it won’t last for long. It’s about time for us to accelerate these efforts on behalf of our future scientists, technologists, engineers, artists and mathematicians. 

Much love and gratitude,

DJ

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Over the Top!

Dear friends,

On the heels of #GivingTuesdayCLT, we are sending out a BIG thank you for your support. Yesterday, we joined 173 other nonprofits here in Charlotte to collectively raise $8 million.

With your help, we crushed our goal to raise $5,000 in individual donations!

All #GivingTuesdayCLT dollars will be eligible for a percentage match from our friends at SHARE Charlotte and their incredible network of supporters!

Today, we have a few special folks to thank.

Thank you, OrthoCarolina, and an anonymous donor for supporting Digi-Bridge with $2,500 in matching funding.

Thank you to Reemprise Fund and Social Venture Partners Charlotte for announcing commitments to Digi-Bridge.

And big thanks to the Yelp Foundation, which announced yesterday that Digi-Bridge has been selected as one of three finalists in a grant contest to win up to $5K!

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Will you help us win? Click here to vote 1X a day now-12/9!

Thank you for your support of providing 21st century education for all.

We’ve got our sights set on $10,000 by Dec. 31 to reach our end of year goal.

Let’s go!

PS – Here’s the voting link once again: bit.ly/yelpDB16

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#CSforAll: Digi-Bridge Goes to the White House

Dear friends,

On Tuesday, Digi-Bridge was honored to join the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to announce our commitment to meeting the President’s call for Computer Science for All (#CSforAll).

As part of our commitment, we are excited to launch #STEAMSaturdays series introducing scholars to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) disciplines in a safe environment at sites throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg this fall. We will also continue to carry out Daddy-Daugher Code-ins (#DDCodeins) in partnership with Google Fiber.

However, the work of #CSforall requires more committed private-public partnerships to reach the finish line. Particularly in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, where we know that 70,000 children do not have internet access at home, and where economic mobility is ranked 50th out of 50 in major US cities, now is a critical time to support this work.

The US Science and Technology Council inspired us with the challenge that #CSforAll is completely possible. Coding IS the new 21st century literacy.

To make a meaningful difference in the life of a Digi-Bridge scholar, click here to make a gift in support of this critical work. A gift of any size will help provide an educational experience that ultimately opens the door to economic mobility for K-8 scholar.

To reach out with interest in sponsoring a #STEAMSaturdays series, or to underwrite a Daddy-Daughter Code-In (#DDCodein), contact Holly Martin at holly@digi-bridge.org.

To support Digi-Bridge as a volunteer, click here to share your interest with us.

Thank you for your valued support in the work as together we #bridgethedivide!

Cheers!

DJ

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Digi-Bridge Announces Commitment at White House Summit

Digi-Bridge is announcing its commitment today at the White House’s Computer Science for All Summit, which event can be viewed via livestream wh.gov/live from 1-3 p.m.

The Summit celebrates progress and announces new commitments towards the President’s historic call for Computer Science (CS) for All. Digi-Bridge is dedicated to supporting a generation of well-equipped 21st century learners through the provision of computer science education.

“We believe our approach is effective and measurable,” said Digi-Bridge Founder David Jessup. “We look forward to continuing CS for all through the development of private-public partnerships.”

In January, President Obama issued a historic call to action for public, private and nonprofit organizations to support his efforts to expand computer science education for all American children.

In support of the President’s call to action, Digi-Bridge has developed and will continue efforts to broaden access to its signature educational programming including #STEAMSaturdays and Daddy Daughter Code-Ins introducing K-8 scholars to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) disciplines.

Without dedicated state funding for computer science professional development or K-12 curriculum standards in North Carolina, Digi-Bridge is leading statewide efforts to engage public and private stakeholders to enact solutions, Jessup said.

“This issue hits close to home in North Carolina,” Jessup said. “In our state alone an estimated 17,824 computer science jobs remain unfilled, yet North Carolina produces only 1,224 graduates in this field annually. We are grateful for the recognition of the White House around needed partnership in this important work.”

In continuance of this work, Digi-Bridge will deliver #STEAMSaturdays courses to more than 500 K-8 scholars at eight sites in Charlotte-Mecklenburg in 2016-17. These courses introduce both teachers and students to computer science on Saturday mornings.

“Community partners, including The OrthoCarolina Foundation, will allow Digi-Bridge to extend these experiences free of charge to students living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods,” Jessup noted.

Digi-Bridge has introduced a full-time STEAM Community Catalyst to support the development of a model K-12 computer science program in Title I schools during the academic year. The Catalyst role, through a partnership between the public and private sector, will allow stakeholders to innovatively approach design and delivery of resources and support.

Digi-Bridge additionally will host Daddy Daughter Code-Ins in partnership with Google Fiber introducing school-age girls and their fathers or male role models to coding in a welcoming environment.

The White House Fact Sheet (view here) describes Digi-Bridge’s programming.

Today’s Summit, as part of Back to School Week, will be livestreamed this afternoon from 1-3 p.m. (EST) at: http:/www.whitehouse.gov/live. Follow the digital conversation: #CSforall.

Media Contacts: David Jessup, david@digi-bridge.orgCorri Smith, corri@blackwednesday.social