PYMC proudly supports this new program targeted toward the youngest generation of digital technology users.
Peoples Emergency Center Young Explorers Curriculum
1. PEC is interested in introducing a new Digital Inclusion program geared towards children ages 3-7. Our organization recently received a donation of eight IBM Young Explorers modules, which are stationed in a day-care room within our transitional housing shelter located at 325 N. 39th Street. Through our Young Explorers lab we seek to use fun and interactive early literacy games to ensure children are developmentally ready for academic success. Young Explorers will also teach our children important socialization skills such as cooperation and sharing.
2. PEC is seeking a $1,000 stipend to hire instructors to develop curriculum, structure programming, and teach classes to preschoolers and kindergartens in our community. Our goal is to not only activate the Young Explorers lab at our shelter, but also develop curriculum that expands beyond these modules to our local schools and community centers.
3. PEC nurtures families, strengthens neighborhoods, and drives change. We provide comprehensive supportive services to homeless women and their children, revitalize our West Philadelphia neighborhood, and advocate for social justice. Since 2003 our Digital Inclusion program has offered educational programming to residents of West Philadelphia, thereby increasing the technological literacy of low-income families and youth. We seek to close the gap within this “digital divide” by familiarizing our children with computers at an early age. Digital Inclusion currently consists of two youth programs – Tech Stars (5th and 6th graders), the Teen Technology Network. Both of these programs incorporate outreach and curriculum to students at numerous local schools, including Martha Washington Elementary and Belmont Charter School. Our goal is to expand our services to a younger audience, so that
some of our youngest community members can benefit.
4. On average PEC serves 140 young people each year, many of which are recruited from our residential facilities and the surrounding neighborhoods. Given the target age for Young Explorers participating youth will most likely not be involved in curriculum planning. That being said, young people in our community could certainly be given the opportunity to provide feedback regarding this program. PEC is currently working with
Mighty Writers, a nonprofit young writing program, to open a new learning center on Lancaster Avenue. There is potential to engage with Mighty Writers throughout the summer to assist with ongoing activities regarding Young Explorers.
5. PEC is also working with a group of Bryn Mawr Social Work graduate students who are conducting needs assessment for Young Explorers. As part of their final project this semester these students are exploring ways to incorporate new digital youth programming into the community while effectively measuring its success. This assessment will include interviews with our 5th and 6th grade Tech Stars participants. 5. PEC staff will use a wide varying of technologies to document the success of Young Explorers, including photo, video, audio, and the utilization of social networking. Both PEC and Digital Inclusion have their own websites, and PEC manages a Facebook account for the Lancaster Avenue commercial corridor.
6. Curriculum would be developed in April, with a special summer course being implemented from May August.