Posts Tagged :

#ReachOurFuture

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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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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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How can you help Reach Our Future during #GivingTuesdayCLT?

Friends,

Digi-Bridge is proud to team up with 230+ other Charlotte nonprofits for the 2017 #GivingTuesdayCLT campaign.

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.

Digi-Bridge’s goal is to raise $10,000 towards our Reach Our Future campaign, a yearlong initiative that will allow us to serve 1000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg scholars per year for the next three years with hands-on, 21st century learning opportunities.

We are excited to announce that both Tresata and OrthoCarolina Foundation have stepped up to ensure that your gift goes further! The organizations will be matching your gifts throughout the campaign. In the coming days, you’ll learn more about their gifts and how you can maximize your impact.

During #GivingTuesdayCLT, we hope that you will consider making a three-year commitment to help us continue to serve 21st century learners in Charlotte.

You can help Reach Our Future at bit.ly/FutureDB. Together, we will bridge the divide!

 

With gratitude,

DJ