It’s often easy to focus on quantifiable successes in education: grades, test scores, graduation rates, etc. But sometimes, success is harder to define. For so many KidsTek students, especially the younger ones, using computers and other tech is unfamiliar and scary. Helping kids to engage with tech early and to feel comfortable learning more about computers is essential to fostering success later down the road.
In this spirit, KidsTek’s after school enrichment programs are crucial to our mission to promote tech literacy in high needs schools and increase tech literacy across our community. Our elementary and middle school students learn and practice basic computer skills through fun projects created by our passionate instructors. For example, a perennial student favorite is pixel art in Google Sheets, in which students learn spreadsheet terminology like column, row, and cell, practice navigating spreadsheets, learn copy/paste keyboard shortcuts, and more by using the Fill Color tool to create pictures cell by cell.
“It’s so common for us to find that students have no technology at home with the sometimes exception of a parent’s smartphone,” Emily Tow, KidsTek Program Manager says. “It’s incredibly impactful and powerful to give kiddos the chance to see tech not just as approachable and useful, but also as fun!”
Currently, KidsTek serves two elementary schools in Aurora and has upcoming middle school computer enrichment programs as well. Our partner for Aurora after school programs is COMPASS, a joint effort between Aurora Public Schools and the City of Aurora. We always love working with COMPASS schools and are celebrating our 16th year as a COMPASS provider this school year.