Since the March outbreak, KidsTek has worked hard to be responsive during the COVID-19 crisis. Meghan Lang, Program Manager at KidsTek said, “The combination of our already tech-based practices and the kindness of our staff has been an effective combination in helping us adapt to this new pace of life and helped carry us as we continue to serve our wonderful students and their families!” The following is a brief overview of different ways the KidsTek team has worked to make a positive impact.
We knew that technology access was imperative during what could be a very isolating time. Our first response was to distribute free laptops to our high school students to help them in finishing out the school year online, and to help them and their families keep connected online during the initial stay-at-home phase.
Due to the generosity of Tony Grampsas Youth Services (a program of the Colorado Department of Human Services) KidsTek also had the opportunity to apply for an emergency grant that could be used to support Aurora students and their families. KidsTek used the funds to buy King Soopers gift cards to give out to students’ families during a time when many were losing jobs or struggling to make ends meet.
For the third year in a row, our class at Denver’s North High School was partnered with business students in the Leeds Scholars program at CU Boulder. They had raised money for our class, possibly to buy technology, but ultimately decided to buy each student’s family a Target gift card during these challenging times.
KidsTek has also been able to hold a number of online summer programs. The first was hosted through Aurora’s COMPASS enrichment program. Elementary students in Aurora attended our online class twice a week during the month of June and learned all about “Wildlife Around the World” with KidsTek Instructor Kiki Andriani. During this same time, KidsTek instructor Max Lewis was producing high-quality video lessons for engaging online computer projects. Middle schoolers in Aurora were able to log on weekly in June for Max’s lessons.
Finally, KidsTek offered a high school online summer camp this year. During this camp, students created resumes, took part in an ethics curriculum created by the BBB, and learned about helpful strategies and tips for job interviews. Each of these students received a laptop at the end of the camp for their hard work and dedication to learning during the summer months.
As KidsTek continues to navigate through these ever-changing times, students and their families will continue to be our top priority. Please help us continue our mission to prepare students for academic, career and personal success by increasing tech literacy at Colorado’s highest-needs schools!